Due to Technical Difficulties, IRS Gives America One More Day to File Taxes

FILE - In this photo March 22, 2013 file photo, the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington. The IRS provided poor customer service during this year's tax filing season as taxpayers struggled with a rise in identity theft and complications related to President Barack Obama’s health law, a government watchdog said Wednesday. A new report by the National Taxpayer Advocate says the IRS has been hampered by budget cuts. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Scrambling to get your income taxes filed before midnight tonight? Procrastinators rejoice — you get one more day!

The electronic filing system used by the Internal Revenue Service suffered a temporary “computer glitch,” as the Washington Post described it, causing last-minute taxpayers to stress about whether their returns would be able to be filed on time.

IRS officials have not explained the nature of this “glitch,” telling reporters that they planned a “hard reboot” of their systems after the rush Tax Day had passed.

(Our government at work. I’m just thrilled we turned over so much control of our health care to them, aren’t you?)

Everything is back up and running now, but to reassure worried taxpayers, the IRS decided to extend the deadline to file without penalty through tomorrow, Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at midnight.

 

The IRS posted the following statement about the extension on their website:

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it is providing taxpayers an additional day to file and pay their taxes following system issues that surfaced early on the April 17 tax deadline. Individuals and businesses with a filing or payment due date of April 17 will now have until midnight on Wednesday, April 18. Taxpayers do not need to do anything to receive this extra time.

The IRS encountered system issues Tuesday morning. Throughout the system outage, taxpayers were still able to file their tax returns electronically through their software providers and Free File. Taxpayers using paper to file and pay their taxes at the deadline were not affected by the system issue.

“This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. “The IRS appreciates everyone’s patience during this period. The extra time will help taxpayers affected by this situation.”

The IRS advised taxpayers to continue to file their taxes as normal Tuesday evening – whether electronically or on paper. Automatic six-month extensions are available to taxpayers who need additional time to file can visit https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/extension-of-time-to-file-your-tax-return.

The traditional income tax deadline of April 15 fell on a Sunday this year, and April 16 was a holiday in the District of Columbia, Emancipation Day.

And remember, if you still need more time, you can file for a free six-month extension (until October 15, 2018) at irs.gov/freefile. You will have to estimate the taxes you owe and pay that amount now to avoid additional penalties and interest, but it’s still significantly cheaper than the penalties for failing to file at all.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker