IRS experiences technical difficulties on last day to file taxes

The Internal Revenue Service’s electronic system that many people use to file their taxes online had a partial failure on Tuesday, the last day American can file their taxes.

The issue could make it harder for millions of Americans trying to file before the midnight deadline.

"On my way over here this morning, I was told a number of systems are unavailable at the moment," IRS Acting Commissioner David Kautter told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday. "We are working to resolve the issue and taxpayers should continue to file their returns as they normally would."

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A congressional official told The Washington Post that the IRS will attempt a "hard reboot" of its system that they hope will fix the issue.

The IRS has said that, at this point, all indications are that the problems are due to a hardware issue.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinGAO report details challenges of implementing Trump tax law Financial trade tax gains traction with 2020 Democrats Hillicon Valley: Agencies play catch-up over TikTok security concerns | Senate Dems seek sanctions on Russia over new election meddling | Pentagon unveils AI principles MORE said Tuesday afternoon that Americans who were unable to pay their taxes because of the “high-volume technical issue” will get an extension when the site is running correctly again, the Associated Press reported.

The AP reported that the IRS website had been down most of the day and wasn’t operational as of 4:30 p.m.

Kautter noted that even though the deadline for Americans to file their taxes is Tuesday, they can still request a six-month extension on the IRS’s website.

He also said that people would not be penalized if their returns arrive late because of the system glitches, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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"If we can't solve it today, we'll figure out a solution," Kautter said. "Taxpayers would not be penalized because of a technical problem the IRS is having."

On the last day of last year’s tax filing season, the IRS received five million returns.

Some lawmakers had also said earlier in the day that the IRS should provide a grace period so that Americans who have issues filing their taxes because of the IRS’s systems failures are not penalized.

Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard NealRichard Edmund NealWyden, Mnuchin clash over Trump tax returns, Hunter Biden probe Overnight Health Care: House panel advances legislation on surprise medical bills | Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Trump abortion coverage rule | CDC identifies 13th US patient with coronavirus White House warns of raising health costs in debate over surprise medical bills MORE (D-Mass.) said that he hopes the IRS "will make accommodations so that every taxpayer attempting to file today has a fair shot to do so without penalty."

"Americans should not be punished for being unable to file their tax returns or pay their tax bills today," Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database On The Money: Coronavirus complicates Fed decision on rates | Schumer wants .5B in emergency virus funding | Dems offer bill to reverse Trump on military money for wall Hillicon Valley: Democrats cancel surveillance vote over pushback to amendments | Lawmakers grill Ticketmaster, StubHub execs over online ticketing | MORE, (D-Ore.) said.

Wyden added that while it isn’t clear what is causing the IRS’s systems failure, Republicans’ lack of funding for the IRS “will only compound the issue."

Naomi Jagoda contributed reporting.