HMRC's new Tax app fails on launch day

A website aimed at showing taxpayers how the Government spends their money crashed just hours after its launch.

The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax calculator was supposed to allow users to work out how much tax they can expect to pay and how it will be distributed.

But the system failed on it’s launch date of 28th May due to unprecedented demand after 400,000 users tried to access the site.

A spokesman for HMRC said: "There are thousands and thousands of people trying to use it. It's slow to get going. It's purely because of the phenomenal demand."

The fault came only hours after Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke unveiled the initiative, saying: "We think it is right that people know how much tax they pay and what the Government spends it on.

"At the moment, over half of taxpayers do not know how much income tax and National Insurance they pay in a year. Our new tax calculator will allow them to find out, which is a big step towards a more transparent, 21st century system."

The calculator was launched as a mobile phone app downloadable from the Apple Store and Google Play, as well as being available from the HMRC website. The innovation is part of a drive by Chancellor George Osborne to ensure taxpayers have a better idea about how ministers use their money.

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