IRS E-File Outage May Delay Tax Refunds


The Internal Revenue Service is not exactly beloved by taxpayers, and on Thursday (Feb. 4), it gave little reason for that dislike to lift. A “hardware failure” (think servers) meant that filers who sent their forms in electronically would not be able to have those forms processed, which means that rebates are going to be a little delayed.

The agency said that it was in the midst of “assessing the scope of the outage” but also said that disruptions would not be significant. The IRS stated that “we continue to expect that nine out of 10 taxpayers will continue to get their refunds within 21 days.”

[bctt tweet=”The agency said that it was in the midst of “assessing the scope of the outage” but also said that disruptions would not be significant.”]

The systems snafu comes, as noted by Engadget, after the IRS debuted a new iteration of the Free File electronic filing system for taxpayers who earned $62,000 or less. The site noted that the IRS now has more stringent security profiles than had been seen previously, which were reached in tandem with 13 technology companies.

As has been widely reported, the new, more stringent security measures are a response to the data breach that led to the loss of information for 100,000 taxpayers.

The site stated that people can still file their returns, and those returns are sent to firms like H&R Block, Intuit and several other companies that are part of the Free File alliance. Perhaps some solace comes along with the struggles but not right now; providers are unable to send returns to the government, at least for now.

Since eFiling has been around for a while and returns have been able to be filed since Jan. 19, it’s possible that many, and perhaps most, filers will not be affected by the glitch and the ensuing delay in getting rebates out the door.