“This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers,” David Kautter, the agency’s acting commissioner, said in a statement. “The IRS appreciates everyone’s patience during this period. The extra time will help taxpayers affected by this situation.”
Taxpayers were unable to make payments or view their tax records on the IRS website for hours on Tuesday due to “technical difficulties,” an agency spokesperson told NPR. Those individuals who went to the site hoping to file last-minute tax returns were greeted by a message with the heading “Planned Outage: April 17, 2018 - December 31, 9999.”
The error was resolved by Tuesday evening, but to make up for the interruption, the IRS announced it would allow people an additional day to file their income tax returns and to pay those taxes.
Everybody who had to file and pay by April 17 now has until midnight on April 18 to do so. The agency said taxpayers don’t need to do anything to receive the extra day.
The IRS has experienced glitches in the past that have either delayed tax refunds or blocked the electronic filing of tax returns. But in recent years, the agency has only extended the filing deadline when legal holidays or weekends overlapped with April 15. This year the deadline had already been moved back two days to avoid Sunday and the District of Columbia’s observance of Emancipation Day on Monday.