I’m passing this on although I have no idea what the ramifications may be as, although I am self-employed, I do not personally have any staff (which I realise is a rather mixed blessing).

A retailer, who doesn’t want her name used, says she rang up the tax office to ask where her rebate had got to, since she had filed online and was therefore due the promised discounts for the next five years.

She says the rather embarrassed tax man admitted that nothing could be accessed because the new computer system had gone down big time. They had hoped that it would be up and running again by the end of June, but – surprise surprise – it wasn’t. I know the government is pretty famous in some circles for spending shedloads of money on new systems that don’t work all that well, but as I said, as far as this computer failure goes, I don’t know what the implications might be. Perhaps some will benefit, but it’s equally possible that others won’t.

So if you did do your various P35s and P38As and end-of-year returns online and you got an email back to confirm it, then you should print it and hang onto it as proof, just in case.