IRS Online Payment Site Fails on Tax Day

IRS Online Payment Site Fails on Tax Day

"The IRS Direct Pay system is down on Tax Day".

"Taxpayers should continue filing their tax returns as they normally would", said Bruce Friedland, an I.R.S. spokesman.

IRS Acting Commissioner David Kautter confirmed the problem to lawmakers during the IRS oversight hearing Tuesday.

The Internal Revenue Service had an unexpected message for procrastinators who waited until Tuesday to make their annual Tax Day payments through the agency's website: Come back on December 31, 9999.

Conservatives on Twitter used the news to mock the incompetence of the government.

The "Payment Plan" page, where filers can arrange to pay their tax bill in installments, also appears to be offline.

"If we can't solve it today, we'll figure out a solution", Kautter said.

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Those cuts have reduced the frequency of audits and at times lowered the IRS's ability to respond to taxpayers' queries.

For taxpayers who use software to file their returns, it's also possible to pay through the tax filing service itself.

In a statement that didn't specify the extent or cause of the outage, the Internal Revenue Service said taxpayers should continue filing returns as usual.

"The IRS is crashing?" he said, repeating a reporter's question. Additionally, it's not clear that the outage is impacting the ability to pay for people who file electronically via programs or websites such as Turbo Tax and, of course, there's nothing preventing taxpayers from mailing their forms and writing a check as long as the paperwork is postmarked before midnight.

"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.).

Kautter said the critical pay authority, which allows the tax agency to hire in six weeks and offer very high government salaries - up to the level of vice presidential pay - is called for in the IRS' fiscal year 2019 budget.

The IRS has faced steady budget cuts for almost a decade, with its staff size falling by about 18,000 employees from 2010 to 2017 and a recent report showing it can answer only about 60 percent of calls from tax filers.

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