HMRC is due to launch its new Corporation Tax (CT) online service in preparation for the mandation of online filing in iXBRL format from April 2011. To facilitate the changeover a major upgrade will be occurring this weekend. HMRC CT free online software will be down from 17:00 on Thursday 19 November 2009. Third party CT returns should not be submitted from 08:00 on Friday 20 November 2009. Services recommence at 06:00 on Monday 23 November 2009 inclusive. Other online services will also be affected. Tax advisers dealing with CT may need to take some action by 18 November 2009. We have now obtained clarification from HMRC of the changes about to be implemented. Tax advisers need to be aware of the following:
Users of third party CT software:
Most third party software companies will have advised their customers of any action they need to take in advance of the change. Most software companies will have made an upgrade available to their customers and advised them of any necessary action.
- CT Returns due to be submitted using pre-upgrade software need to be made by 08:00 on Friday 20 November.
- No CT returns can be submitted between 08:00 on Friday 20 November and 06:00 on Monday 23 November inclusive.
- CT returns submitted from 06:00 on Monday 23 November will need to be made using software which has been upgraded to cope with the new HMRC portal – your software supplier should have supplied this to you.
- You may wish to chase clients for approval of CT returns already sent to them to ensure that they are submitted before the deadline at 08:00 on Friday. If submitted later than this the return will probably be rejected by the HMRC system and may need to be regenerated in the new version of the software and submitted after 06:00 on Monday 23 November.
If you are in doubt, you may be able to find the necessary information on your software supplier’s website – or contact your supplier.
HMRC CT online free software
HMRC’s CT online software will be unavailable from 17:00 on Thursday 19 November to 06:00 on Monday 23 November inclusive. If you have input any data into a current HMRC CT online return you may wish to either complete and submit the return before 17:00 on Thursday 19 November or alternatively download and save the information before the deadline so that it can be entered into the new HMRC Adobe package from Monday 23 November. You will not be able to access your data in the current HMRC CT online filing service after that date time.
Other third party software
We understand that submissions by other (ie non-CT) third party software should be possible during the period of downtime, but may result in a delay in acknowledgement, especially between 08:00 on Friday 20 November and 08:00 on Saturday 21 November. Some members may prefer to delay submission until 23 November to minimise possible problems.
Other HMRC software
We are seeking clarification of any downtime affecting other HMRC online software, but understand that much of this will not be available during the maintenance period from Friday to Monday 23 November.
We are sorry not to have been able to provide more notice of the downtime, however we have only just received final details. Any members having problems during this changeover period or as a result of the software changes are welcome to sent comments to the CIOT at firstname.lastname@example.org with 'CT Online - FAO Tina Riches’ in the subject line. Good luck!
The HMRC alert regarding the software changes is available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ctsa/cto-prepare-software.htm and states:
'Corporation Tax Online - prepare your software
'From 1 April 2011, for any accounting period ending after 31 March 2010, all Company Tax Returns must be filed online with accompanying accounts and computations in Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language (iXBRL) format.
'In preparation for this, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is updating their Corporation Tax Online service on 23 November 2009. Although the main features of the online service will remain the same, many existing filing software products that enable you to file your Company Tax Return online will no longer be accepted by HMRC systems from this date. To file online on or after 23 November 2009, you need to make sure that your software incorporates the latest upgrade; otherwise it might not work properly. You should check with your software supplier if you haven’t already done so.
'The current HMRC Corporation Tax online return form will also be withdrawn and replaced with updated software on 23 November 2009. If you plan to use the online return before then, HMRC recommend you do so by 18 November 2009.
'If you have any data saved on the current HMRC online return you must make sure that you save it onto your own computer before 19 November 2009. You won’t be able to access your data through the HMRC Corporation Tax online filing service after that date.’
The HMRC alert regarding the planned downtime, affecting all non-CT services, is available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/news/stamptaxes-software.htm and states:
‘Planned maintenance downtime due for 20 November 2009 06.00 until 23 November 2009 06.00
'Friday 20 November 06:00 – Monday 23 November 06:00
'Due to a scheduled upgrade, if you use our HM Revenue & Customs software you will be unable to access our online service between 06:00 on Friday 20 November and 06:00 on Monday 23 November. If you use commercial software you will experience a delay in receiving your online acknowledgement between 08:00 on 20 November and 08:00 on 21 November. Your acknowledgement will be sent once the service is restored. Please do not attempt to resubmit your submission. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.’