back to article HMRC tax credit database takes the week off

UK taxpayers hoping to talk to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about tax credit payments were left fuming last week because of a “routine upgrade” to its database. An HMRC spokeswoman told The Register that the tax credit system had been taken offline - just before the end of the tax year - so the latest rates from …


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  1. Sceptical Bastard

    A likely story

    The headline sounds like a euphemism for "HMRC's database has been nicked or lost and will take a week to be restored from back-ups"

    Hang on. It can't be that. They wouldn't have the foresight to make back-ups.

  2. Anon e Mouse
    IT Angle

    no surprise there then

    Total incompetence. We so badly need a revolution.

    Geeks of the world 011101010110111001101001011101000110010100101110

    Oh, and what's the IT angle here? I don't see any IT.

  3. Andy B
    Thumb Down


    Will they need to check the details when they've been outputted?


  4. Dafydd Lawrence

    Known Knowns?

    Kind of shows the competency on government IT projects. Either the brief was poor or the implementation but in reality both. Surely a budget often results in changes to the tax system so how it cannot have been envisaged that new rates would need to be inputted from time to time (probably once a year) is unbelievable. Especially 1 weeks downtime. I could understand 1 hour to ensure there was no overlap as the rates were applied but even that should be unnecessary.

    Even now couldn't they just put the rates into an offline set of tables and then just make them live when needed?

  5. Ash
    Thumb Down

    Something wrong...

    ... with the system when they think that the END of the tax year is the slowest time for ANYBODY.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    No suprise

    BT are involved, must be down to the customers hardware. Nope nothing to do with us, your fault, prove us wrong, go on, dare you.

  7. Steve Woods

    The age of HMRC's hardware

    Knowing Whitehall's aversion to change and penchant for soldiering on with out of date equipment and anachronistic practices, they're probably taking the equipment offline to give the coal-fired boilers a service.

  8. Mike Crawshaw

    Quietest Time of The Year????

    Somehow, I'm inclined to think NOT.

  9. josh


    HMRC really need to get their act togetheri was almost scared to ask for a tax rebate this year just incase the cheque gets lost in the post

  10. Ian

    Personal Bugbear.


    It's 'can be input' FFS, not 'can be inputted'. Look it up in a dictionary.


  11. Nick Davey
    Thumb Down

    I know a man...

    who has been working over the weekend on this particular item, let's just say that he hasn't had much sleep and had let me in on some of the choice experiences from the government on what they want.

  12. Anonymous Coward




    1. a man who is a stupid incompetent fool

    2. obscene terms for female genitals

  13. Christoph

    That's not the only reason

    Besides updating the rates, they had to take it down to make some adjustments for the completely unexpected and unpredictable addition of an extra day to February this year. Obviously there is no possible way they could have prepared for this in advance.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Hopefully they'll processify the datas in a correctitudinal manner.

    Re: Twat..

    Makes you wonder which one "twatted" comes from.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Leaving people on benefits in the lurch

    I have a friend who is a recently made single mother with two teenage kids who is reliant on her weekly child Tax Credit in order to feed and look after her kids (Who'd have thunk it?!). She is now two weeks without a cheque and can't get any info out of HMRC who have helpfully told her that the systems will be down until the end of the week. Countless phonecalls to HMRC and she is getting nowhere. All the helpline can suggest is to call the local tax office... and their number isn't published. In fact they won't even give it out if you manage to call another dept in the same building. So her only option is to get a bus across to the other side of town with the kids and sit in their reception until someone can give her a sensible answer. They can't even give her an 'emergency' payment as they can't even look up in the system whether she is eligible for the payments in the first place.

    PS, cheers for following up on the story Reg ;)

  16. Dafydd Lawrence


    I wouldn't go as far as AC but maybe you should look it up in the dictionary. To help you here's a link from

    Here's the abridged reference:

    in·put ......

    ..... verb, -put·ted or -put, -put·ting.


    –verb (used with object)

    10. Computers. to enter (data) into a computer for processing.

    I know IT is stressful but you can't be helping yourself by <RANT>ing over correctly spelt (or do you prefer spelled) words.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Dafydd Lawrence

    Damn he's right! There's been a dictionaries updation.

    The verbification of nouns leaves me worrified, after soon we'll all be wording like George W.

    People understandication will be impossiblified.

    Can I just lend my sorrying for the pisstakifaction before.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    As an ex-ASPIRE Employee - this is about the right time for them to phuq up ... erm I mean do their routine upgrade....

    Paris - because even they couldnt phuq up as much as her....

  19. Les Matthew

    HMRC are not the only ones

    to lose discs.

  20. Ian

    @Daffyd Lawrence

    Curses! Damn you all with your interwebs, I'll stick to my Chambers definition, and retreat grumbling into a dark corner.

    For the AC, calm down sweetheart, good manners cost nothing.

  21. gareth

    sounds to me like

    someone asked for access to the database but because they have been told they cann't send out copies they decided to hip the entire server by second class unregistered courier

    ... the server has now been lost

  22. b shubin

    It's obvious

    the database used is MS Access or (much less likely) SQLite, only one copy exists, there are no backups, and the person updating it is a narcoleptic.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Dafydd Lawrence

    You're probably looking at an American dictionary site. We're still Brits on ElReg.

  24. Simon.W
    IT Angle

    Sounds to me like...

    the HMRC signed off on a system where all variable inputs have been assigned within the source code.

    BT, CapGemini and Aspire love a cash cow and of course the government's agencies just love throwing money away. Wasps to a honeypot.

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