IRS Extends Filing Deadline Following Website Error on Final Day of Tax Season

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A copy of an IRS 1040 tax form is seen at an H&R Block office on the day President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax cut bill in Washington, D.C., on December 22, 2017, in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Internal Revenue Service is extending the deadline for taxpayers to file their taxes due to technical issues that brought down part of the service's website for much of Tuesday, the final day taxpayers could pay their 2017 income taxes.

The agency said the new deadline to file was midnight on Wednesday, April 18.

"This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers," acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter said in a statement. "This IRS appreciates everyone's patience during this period."

The agency also said in a Tuesday evening statement that its processing systems were back online.

Earlier on Tuesday, an error message displayed on the agency's website said the agency's "Direct Pay" service was down due to a "planned outage" which was scheduled to last from April 17, 2018 to December 31, 9999. That same message also contradicted itself, and the nature of chronology, by saying the service would be unavailable from April 17, 2018 until September 22, 2016

The message told visitors trying to make payments to the IRS that their "tax payment is due although IRS Direct Pay may not be available."

At a previously scheduled congressional hearing Tuesday, Kautter told lawmakers he learned of the technical problems on his way to testify before the committee.

"On my way over here this morning, I was told a number of systems are down at the moment," he said. "We are working to resolve the issue, and taxpayers should continue to file as they normally would."

Politico reported on Tuesday the glitch started early morning Tuesday at an IRS facility in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and that workers were trying to reboot the system there.

The extension follows an announcement by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who said at an event in New Hampshire that taxpayers stymied by the agency's technical problems would get an extension after the error was resolved.

"We'll make sure taxpayers have extensions once the system comes up to make sure they can use it, and it in no way impacts people paying their taxes," said Mnuchin, according to the Associated Press. "It was just a technical issue we're working through."