While Americans rush to file their taxes this Tax Day, some computer systems at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are “experiencing technical difficulties.” As a result, the agency said it is having trouble taking in returns from tax preparers, The Wall Street Journal reported.
While the IRS did not give a reason for the outage or disclose its extent, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) said the problem may have something to do with direct payments that are transmitted to the agency. He urged the IRS to make accommodations to taxpayers as a result of the technical difficulties.
“Tax Day is already a stressful time for millions of Americans, even when everything goes right,” Neal said in a statement. “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.”
Still, the IRS is advising taxpayers to file their returns. Ashley McMahon, a spokesperson for software maker Intuit, said that TurboTax is still accepting returns. The company will hold them until the IRS is able to start accepting them, she said.
This year, Tax Day falls on a Tuesday (April 17). It’s a bit of an unusual year as far as taxes are concerned, since April 15 fell on a Sunday. Normal protocol would automatically push the tax filing deadline to April 16, but this year, April 16 marks Emancipation Day in the nation’s capital.
However, the extra day or two might not make a difference for late filers: According to FiveThirtyEight, as of three years ago, roughly one in seven citizens consistently waited until the last minute to submit their returns and pay their taxes. There was an initial bump in early February, as early filers expecting a refund got their hands on their W-2s. Those early filers, according to Fiona Greig, director of consumer research at JPMorgan Chase Institute, tended to be lower income and earmarked for paying bills.