- The Internal Revenue Service said the Tax Day deadline for Americans to submit tax filings will be pushed back to Wednesday after a technical glitch hit the agency on Tuesday.
- The IRS said that people could still file their taxes to services like TurboTax and H&R Block, but the agency was having trouble transmitting filings from those services.
The Internal Revenue Service is moving back Tax Day by one day after technical difficulties crippled parts of the online filing system Tuesday.
An outage to some of the IRS’ eFile systems and its Direct Pay function, which allows taxpayers to make payments directly from a bank account, caused the agency to delay the deadline until the end of Wednesday.
“This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers,” Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter said in a statement. “The IRS appreciates everyone’s patience during this period. The extra time will help taxpayers affected by this situation.”
The IRS statement said all issues with the online filing system were resolved. Around 5 million tax filers waited until the final day to submit their taxes in 2017 according to the IRS.
The decision came after Kautter drew the ire of Republicans during a hearing earlier on Tuesday after telling the lawmakers that an issue had popped up that morning.
“On my way over here this morning, I was told a number of systems are down at the moment,” Kautter said in his opening remarks.
As the news of the outage spread, various members took Kautter to task for the downtime.
“This is game-day for the IRS, and it seems the IRS can’t get out of the locker room,” GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte said.
According to the IRS, taxpayers could still file their returns through third-party filers like H&R Block and TurboTax during the outage but the IRS was having trouble processing the submission from those groups.
While lawmakers were critical, the IRS has long struggled with its internal systems and the concerns have only grown after years of budget cuts in Congress’ spending packages. According to the left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the IRS has seen its budget cut by 18% since 2010 leading to staffing and IT issues.
Even Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed worries that the agency’s budget was not enough to update its critical software.
“I am very concerned about the lack of first-rate technology at the IRS, the issue of making sure that we protect the American public’s privacy when they give information to the IRS, cybersecurity around that,” Mnuchin said in 2017. “And also customer service for the many hard-working Americans that are paying taxes.”
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