Updated: April 17, 2019 – 6:49pm ET
The IRS announced on Tuesday that it has extended the tax deadline by one day to April 18, 2018. The move comes as many tax professionals and individuals encountered difficulties with the IRS website, particularly its Direct Pay system, which allows debit-based payment of tax obligations for no fee.
Some users also had problems with the IRS efiling functions. As a result of the additional day, taxpayers will have until midnight Wednesday night to submit their individual tax returns, or to request an automatic 6-month extension.
The IRS deadline this year was Tuesday April 17, because April 15th fell on a Sunday, and Monday was a holiday in Washington, D.C.
Earlier Updates: 4:30pm ET: The IRS Direct Pay system is once again functioning, so payments can be made through the online service at https://www.irs.gov/payments/direct-pay. It appears the efile system is also working at this time.
Earlier: The IRS has issued this statement:
Currently, certain IRS systems are experiencing technical difficulties. The IRS is looking into the issue and will provide updates as soon as possible. Taxpayers should continue filing their tax returns as they normally would.
The IRS has also confirmed that the Where’s My Refund is operational, but Direct Pay is not. Users are also having trouble using the “View Your Account” function.
The IRS Direct Pay system is not functioning on this last day of timely tax filing. And it appears that the efiling system is also at least partially down.
Today is the deadline for most Americans to report their income taxes for the last calendar year and, if taxes are owed, to pay that debt. 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. The Washington Post is reporting that the IRS is planning to attempt a “hard reboot” of its system, hoping to get it up and running again.
Gail Perry, a CPA and editor-in-chief of this website, received the following message when attempting to make a payment for a tax client:
This service is temporarily unavailable. We are working to resolve the issue. Please come back later and try again, or you can visit the Make a Payment page for alternative payment methods. We apologize for any inconvenience.
The error message also occurs when trying to use the “Look Up Payment” function.
Many professionals and individuals rely on the IRS’ web-based Direct Pay to make those payments or estimated tax payments directly from their checking or savings accounts. The credit card payment systems available through the IRS website appear to be functioning, however there is a fee associated with making those payments.
If the website stays down, taxpayers are still responsible for making payment by midnight tonight. An obvious alternative is to head to the Post Office.
The IRS has asked that efilers continue to proceed with their efiling, even if returns aren’t being accepted in short order. According to the Washington Post report, IRS Acting Commissioner David J. Kautter has stated, “If we can’t solve it today we’ll figure out a solution. Taxpayers would not be penalized because of a technical problem the IRS is having.”
We will update this story as more information becomes available.