HMRC’s potential solution to corporate tax return submission delays
Following member feedback on corporation tax return submission delays, we summarise the issues and HMRC’s expected solution.
In response to feedback from our members, we have raised concerns with HMRC regarding the issues being experienced by tax practitioners when submitting corporation tax returns for their clients.
Our members have told us that recent corporation tax return submissions have taken a significant amount of time to be accepted by HMRC and for the follow up email acknowledgment to be received. We have heard that, in some cases, it can take in excess of eight hours for a return to be accepted, which should normally happen within seconds.
We understand that these issues may have been caused by large or complex file attachments, as well as iXBRL tagging of complicated computations, which have caused problems with validation through HMRC’s IT system. It is well known that HMRC’s corporation tax system is a legacy computer system, which in itself presents challenges.
A secondary issue is that when a submission becomes stuck in the workflow, subsequent submissions start to back up behind it. As a result, tax agents submitting returns are not receiving the immediate confirmation that they may normally expect, although we believe that submissions should be “date stamped” so that the date and time of the submission is logged. Many have chosen to re-submit returns multiple times, which can potentially cause further issues.
Ahead of the expected peak filing season for corporation tax returns in the run up to Christmas, HMRC has advised that there will be a software update to the legacy computer system next week. This should hopefully help alleviate the delays being experienced by tax agents.
Going forward, HMRC’s has stated that a response should be received within 48 hours of submission. If a response has not been received within 48 hours, contact should be made with the online service helpdesk. Where companies have a customer relationship manager, they will be better placed to help, so should be contacted in the first instance.
Whilst it is hoped that the impending software upgrade will fix the issues that our members have experienced, we would be very interested to hear your views and experiences. Your feedback will allow us to report the need for any follow up action to HMRC.
Let us know your views
We welcome your views, which help inform our work on consultations or other tax-related matters. ICAS responds to many tax calls for evidence and consultations, as well as producing tax policy papers and reports. We also regularly attend meetings with HMRC at which service levels, delays and other issues are discussed, and we raise problems being encountered by members.
Please email email@example.com to share your insights and feedback on corporation tax return submission delays.