Updated Tax Calculator Crashes Hours After Launch

A government app designed to help people understand their tax and where it is spent has hit stability problems just a day after its launch.

Yesterday, TechWeekEurope reported on the new tax app launched by the UK government, which attempted to make the system more transparent. Besides telling users how much tax they should pay, the software can also show how the government spends this money.

However, the number of people confused by the tax system turned out to be higher than expected. Several hours after the launch, the servers were overwhelmed by the demand and the app crashed.

The absent taxman

The calculator, announced by the Chancellor in his budget in March last year, was launched yesterday trough the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website, as well as on iTunes store and Google Play.

400,000 taxpayers attempted to access the service through the website during the first three hours, slowing down the servers until they finally crashed. Any users which attempted to check their tax expenditure after midday were greeted with a message, saying: “Sorry, the HMRC Tax Calculator is currently not available. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please try again later,”

The mobile version of the calculator was not affected. HMRC apologised repeatedly for the crash caused by the “phenomenal demand”. The website resumed normal service this morning.

The new tax calculator was launched as research from the government revealed 57 percent of taxpayers do not know how much income tax and National Insurance they pay in a year.

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Max Smolaks

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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