April 17, 2018 / 8:15 PM / 5 months ago

U.S. IRS hit with computer glitch as midnight tax deadline looms

WASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s computers suffered a technical problem that prevented some taxpayers from filing or paying their 2017 returns on Tuesday ahead of a midnight deadline.

The IRS said in a statement that several of its systems were hit with the computer glitch, including one that handles returns filed electronically and another that accepts online tax payments using a bank account.

It was not clear how many taxpayers might have been affected, but the agency said it received 5 million tax returns on the final day of filing season last year.

“Currently, certain IRS systems are experiencing technical difficulties. Taxpayers should continue filing their tax returns as they normally would,” the statement said.

“We are still assessing the underlying issue. All indications point to this being a hardware-related issue, not other factors,” the IRS said.

At this time of year, many people file their taxes through tax software programs, such as Turbo Tax, and the IRS said “these online payment options remain available for taxpayers through their software providers during this period.”

Democratic U.S. Representative Richard Neal, who called tax day “a stressful time for millions of Americans,” said the IRS should not penalize people who have been hampered in filing their returns because of the computer glitch.

The IRS said taxpayers could still request an extension, as President Donald Trump did. The White House said on Tuesday that Trump, because of the complexity of his tax returns, would file his by Oct. 15. (Reporting by Eric Beech; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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