Tax return (MTD will be different, right?)January 31, 2017
Yes, I did my tax return (two days before the deadline in fact! Yay me!)
Have I achieved Inner Peace? Hell no!
The problem was that I had signed up for a personal tax account earlier in the year. I’d been deeply annoyed to find that, having done so, I could get details of my national insurance payments back to the 1970s but I couldn’t get into my tax returns. This apparently was because I had signed up to the self assessment service with different details. This was a baffling message to me (you only have one UTR, after all).
So I spent twenty minutes going round in circles with the website trying to find out how to get back to the familiar landing page for self assessment and getting frequent messages on my mobile with a six digit number to log back into my personal tax account. In the end I found, more or less by accident, that I could sign up again using the log in details I found at the front of my account book, but then had to go through the whole verify-yourself-by-handing-over-your-passport-details thing (how on earth do people who *don’t* have a passport do it? It isn’t compulsory to have a passport, after all)
Well, long story short, I made it into the self assessment service…
…and then, after I had entered my return details and checked the tax calculation, I thought I would pay up. Yes, more yelling profanities at my computer screen, because what kind of evil genius designs a programme that works out how much you have to pay, takes three or four clicks to get you to the place that you actually pay, and then presents you with a blank “amount” field? I mean, carry the figure over from one screen to another, it’s not rocket science surely?
This is what I wrote on twitter:
I have done my tax return. Number of occasions of yelling profanity at idiotic website design? Four. Inner peace achieved? Zero! #HMRC
— Wendy Bradley (@wendybradley) January 29, 2017
I think the problem is simply that the reassuringly familiar architecture of the self assessment system is still there, but a shiny new “personal tax account” front page has been cobbled together onto the front of it. It works, just about, but it’s a cheapskate spatchcocked hotchpotch.