IRS Offers One-Day Tax Filing Extension After Online Snafu

An IRS 1040 form US Individual Income Tax Return

An IRS 1040 form US Individual Income Tax Return

The IRS is giving taxpayers an extra day to file their taxes after technical difficulties on its website yesterday. By late Tuesday, the IRS said its systems were back online, and taxpayers could proceed to file returns through the end of Wednesday.

While there is no official estimate yet of how many people of how many people are affected by Tuesday's outage, previous year the IRS received about 50 million returns on the last day of the 2016 tax filing season. For those who may find themselves panicking right now, the IRS released a bit of good news - they extended the deadline for filing 2017 taxes until midnight on Wednesday, April 18.

A message on the website about the outage indicates the agency still expects Americans to pay their taxes on time.

That system allows the agency to accept returns from popular software problems like TurboTax and H&R Block. "We apologize for any inconvenience", the agency wrote in a notice at the top of its online payment page.

The IRS has not yet provided details, but has indicated that the failure is "hardware-related" and that it had done a hard reboot. It is unclear at this time whether the IRS internet outage is the result of a high volume of legitimate users, or is due to a coordinated external attack.

State officials say that income tax returns for MI and Detroit income tax can be filed online or mailed.

It wasn't immediately clear how many people were affected or could still take advantage of the one-day delay in the filing deadline - but IRS officials said taxpayers wouldn't have to do anything special to take advantage of the postponement.

The IRS advised taxpayers to continue to file their taxes as normal Tuesday evening - whether electronically or on paper. "Since this was resolved in a day, it should not impact the schedule for taxpayers to get their refunds", Gasperini said in an email. Credit and debit cards can be used to make payments on a number of sites, although they require an added fee.

Acting Commissioner David Kautter told the House Oversight Committee Tuesday morning that they are working to fix the issue and taxpayers should still file their taxes as "they normally would". It does say filers could still send their tax information electronically through their software providers and Free File.

Democrats quickly blamed federal budget cuts to the IRS as part of the problem, and pushed to protect taxpayers from penalties.

Unfortunately, manually doing long-form 1040 is in many cases less than ideal and in some impossible to complete in one day (see my return above).

Taxpayers could also ask for six-month extensions, as President Donald Trump did.

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