Revenue extends tax deadline as online system fails

Tax collector investigating website crash after high level of traffic to file returns

ROS was inaccessible for most of Tuesday with about 3,000 to 4,000 tax returns being filed per hour

ROS was inaccessible for most of Tuesday with about 3,000 to 4,000 tax returns being filed per hour

 

Revenue was forced to extend its pay-and-file tax deadline until 6pm on Wednesday after its online services, known as ROS, failed on Tuesday after a high level of traffic.

ROS was inaccessible for most of Tuesday with about 3,000 to 4,000 tax returns being filed per hour.

“These volumes caused intermittent downtime for some of those using the ROS system and, while it was still possible to file returns, the volume of submissions were less than expected,” the tax collector said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

“Revenue’s technical team took time to fully refresh the system, which resulted in the ROS system being unavailable for a period of time this afternoon.

“The ROS system is now operational again and Revenue’s technical team will keep the system and its performance under constant review.

“Revenue acknowledges the difficulties these issues have caused for taxpayers and agents and has announced an extension to the deadline until 6pm tomorrow, November 13th, 2019.

“Revenue apologises for the inconvenience caused,” a statement said without pinpointing the issue that caused the outage.

Online filing

The issue came on the busiest tax day of the year for self-assessed and self-employed income taxpayers. While October 31st is the deadline for taxpayers filing paper returns, these days those are in the minority. Most self-assessed taxpayers file online, where they have an extended deadline to November 12th.

According to one tax advisor, the majority of taxpayers file on deadline day because they are raising funds to pay their tax bill or making a final pension contribution in advance of the deadline.

“Everyone files online now and the system should be able to handle it,” the adviser said, adding that Revenue had not communicated the issues until it issued its press statement just before 15:30.

Had Revenue not offered an amnesty, many taxpayers who were unable to file today would have been subject to a 5 per cent surcharge. “If you think of a person who has a significant tax bill, a 5 per cent surcharge is quite a lot,” the tax adviser said.