This year, a record-breaking 8.48 million returns were filed online, representing 84.5% of all returns received. This meant that, of the 10.74 million tax returns due for the tax year 2012 to 2013, 93.4% met the SA deadlines for paper and online filing.
On 31 January we saw a final rush to file, with 569,847 online returns coming in on time – the highest percentage ever recorded. It shows that many of you and SA taxpayers now prefer to use our digital service, over paper.
On Twitter, we saw references to the Faster Payment Service that Citibank provides for HMRC, where a few payments were sent back to the remitting bank on 31 January. This is normal practice during busy times and is within the industry standard. Citi told us:
The Citi Faster Payments infrastructure receives payments from the scheme individually, and processes and responds to the scheme within 15 seconds. From time to time, due to spikes in volume, there may be certain transactions that may get timed out. As a common practice, these transactions are re-submitted by the remitting bank. Given that this was a high volume day, Citi had proactively advised the scheme to instruct banks to resend any timed out transactions.
Towards the end of the afternoon, as the amount of traffic fell, this ceased to be an issue. The BillPay service that allows customers to pay using debit and credit cards also came under pressure in the evening, but just for a brief period. We’ll continue to work hard to make online filing experiences as straightforward and simple as possible.
As always, we welcome your feedback on the current process and any improvements you would like to see.