In a procrastinator’s nightmare: the filing system taxpayers use to file online is partly down, according to Acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner David Kautter.
“On my way over here this morning, I was told that a number of IRS systems are unavailable at the moment,” Kautter said at a Congressional hearing Tuesday morning. “We are working to resolve this issue and taxpayers should continue to file their returns as they normally would.”
The IRS did not have an immediate explanation for the failure, according to the Associated Press. A message on the site indicated that the online payment system became unavailable at 2:50 a.m. ET on Tuesday.
However, the initial message as reported by the AP confused visitors to the site even more when it said that the payment service, IRS Direct Pay, was experiencing both an unplanned and a planned outage. The headline of the message said it would be available again on Dec. 31, 9999, but the text of the message said that it would resume September 22, 2016.
Since the confusing initial message, the IRS updated the website to say it is temporary unavailable.
“Currently, certain IRS systems are experiencing technical difficulties,” the IRS said in a statement. “Taxpayers should continue filing their tax returns as they normally would.”
Those thinking they’re off the hook for Tax Day will be disappointed, however, as the agency added, “Not that your tax payment is due although IRS Direct Pay may not be available.”
Tuesday is the last day for taxpayers to file their tax returns. It’s also the final day to pay any additional money owed for 2017. Tax Day is on April 17 this year because April 15 was a Sunday and April 16 was a holiday in Washington.
The IRS usually recommends that taxpayers use electronic filing to avoid common mistakes. Online filing is quicker than dropping something in the mail, and electronic filers usually get any refund faster — when the system works.
In uncanny timing, Bloomberg reports that House lawmakers are set to vote this week on a bipartisan package to retool the agency, which would include modernizing its information technology systems.