HMRC New Tax Calculator Website Crashes
A new website which calculates taxpayers' personal contributions to different areas of Government spending crashed just hours after its launch.
The tax calculator on the HM Revenue and Customs website was meant to allow users to work out how much tax they can expect to pay and how it will be spent.
But curious internet users hoping to access it were faced with an apology as the page failed to work under the pressure of 400,000 hits amid unprecedented demand.
The message said: "Sorry, the HMRC Tax Calculator is currently not available.
"We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please try again later."
A spokesman from 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 calculator is also available as an app, downloadable from the Apple Store and Google Play.
The innovation is part of a drive by Chancellor George Osborne to ensure that taxpayers have a better idea about how their money is used by the Government.
From 2014/15, 20 million taxpayers will receive personal statements detailing their contributions to state spending.
The app will allow taxpayers to make the calculations themselves.
More than half of taxpayers - 57% - do not know how much income tax and national insurance they pay in a year, according to a poll of over 2,000 UK adults commissioned by the HMRC from TNS Omnibus.
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 HMRC spokesman said experts were working to fix the fault and the website should speed up later in the day.