Government Gateway closure 3 November hits RTI

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HMRC has issued advanced notice of a planned closure to the Government Gateway on 3 November, which means real-time PAYE submissions will be affected, along with a number of other online submissions, reports accountancy services Harris and Co.

The Government Gateway will be closed between 09:00 and 17:00 on Sunday for maintenance. Although this is unrelated to Real Time Information (RTI), HMRC says employers using commercial software or HMRC"s Basic PAYE Tools will not be able to send their real-time PAYE submissions during this time. Anyone who tries to submit at this time will receive a server error message and will need to try again later.

HMRC is advising people to send their real-time PAYE submissions before 9:00 or as soon as they reasonably can after the gateway reopens at 17:00 on Sunday 3 November. There are no penalties for sending submissions later in this instance.

Other online services affected by the closure include corporation tax, construction industry scheme, online agent authorisation and submitting online end of year expenses and benefits forms. Full details are on the HMRC website.

November’s HMRC Agent Update news circular contains a note explaining an apparent discrepancy in the timings used by the HMRC validation service and the Government Gateway, which was originally identified by the Lincoln Working Together group.

The HMRC validation service returns online acknowledgements using British Standard Time, whereas the Government Gateway uses Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This mean Government Gateway acknowledgement provided to third party software will show GMT. HMRC says that as it is one of many customers who use Government Gateway, it is unable to change this and this is how both services have always functioned.

Agent Update also identifies a problem where a partnership has notified HMRC on their latest return that the partnership has ceased. When the return is being processed automatically, HMRC’s system is not updating with the cessation date. As a result, partnership returns have been issued to some partnerships.

HMRC says any partnership that has received a return the year following cessation is advised to contact them and it will then take steps to update the record.

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