18 April, 2018
The IRS is working to fix the problem, but hasn't said when the page will be back online or if it will be restored before the 12 a.m. filling deadline.
It's tax day - and the IRS is experiencing technical difficulties. The crash affected the transmission of tax payments from paid providers and tax software companies like H&R Block and Turbo Tax.
The full extent of the failure remains unclear, but it appears the agency's system for direct online tax payments is also malfunctioning. Those who visit the page will be met with a friendly red banner bearing a large exclamation mark and the words "Alert: This service is now unavailable". He added that the issues with the electronic forms could potentially affect millions, as many taxpayers wait until the last day to file their returns.
TurboTax is still receiving returns and will hold them until the IRS is ready to accept them again, said Ashley McMahon, a company spokeswoman. IRS officials did not respond to follow up questions.
April 17 is also the deadline for business owners and freelancers to pay their first quarter taxes for 2018.
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Tuesday is the last day for taxpayers to file their tax returns, unless they've filed for an automatic six-month extension.
"This is game-day for the IRS, and it seems the IRS can't get out of the locker room", said Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.). He didn't speculate what caused the outage, but said "it is extremely unlikely that it is a cyberattack given the architecture and defenses in place". The IRS has processed 73.3 million refunds totaling more than $212.3 billion.
"If we can't solve it today, we'll figure out a solution", Kautter said. "Americans should not be punished for being unable to file their tax returns or pay their tax bills today", said Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees the IRS.
- CNN's Gregory Wallace and Jeanne Sahadi contributed reporting. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief.