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Published: Wed, April 18, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

IRS payment site crashes on tax day

IRS payment site crashes on tax day

The online payment system for the Internal Revenue Service's website IRS.gov returned to service late Tuesday afternoon, after preventing last-minute filers from paying their taxes for hours. But the agency adds, "Note that your tax payment is due although IRS Direct Pay may not be available". 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".

The agency is having difficulty receiving returns from tax preparers, including large companies such as TurboTax maker Intuit Inc. and H&R Block Inc., acting IRS commissioner David Kautter told House subcommittees on Tuesday.

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

Tuesday is the last day for taxpayers to file their tax returns.

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. "We will hold returns until the IRS is ready to begin accepting them again". "Given this news, I hope that the IRS will make accommodations so that every taxpayer attempting to file today has a fair shot to do so without penalty". The outage lasted most of the business day. IRS officials did not respond to follow up questions.

Congress has been steadily cutting the IRS budget or holding it flat for the past few years, partly in a broader austerity effort and partly in response to the agency's treatment of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

"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.).

As you are no doubt aware, due to the fact that April 15th was on a Sunday and yesterday was a holiday in the District of Columbia, tax returns and payment of any taxes owed are due by midnight tonight.

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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