Americans who waited until the last day to file their federal taxes faced a major hurdle hours before the midnight deadline.
The Internal Revenue Service website’s “Direct Pay” page, which allows filers to pay their taxes directly from their bank account free of charge, crashed Tuesday.
The IRS still expects Americans to pay their taxes but U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said extensions would be granted to those affected when the site was up again.
“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,” Mnuchin told reporters in New Hampshire. “It was just a technical issue we’re working through — a high-volume technical issue that impacted the system.”
For most of Tuesday, the message on the Direct Pay page described a “Planned Outage: April 17, 2018 – December 31, 9999.”The IRS removed the link to that page later in the day.
Pages on the IRS website used to view account information, make a direct payment or set up a payment plan were all not functioning most of the day Tuesday.
It’s unclear when and why the failure occurred.
President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, offered a deadpan reaction when asked about the failure.
“The IRS is crashing? Sounds horrible. Really bad,” he said during a briefing with reporters in West Palm Beach, Florida. “I hope it gets fixed.”