As Tax Day came and went on Monday, some users reported massive technical errors on the IRS website while trying to meet the April 18 deadline. Some users opt to file directly with the IRS annually instead of hiring a professional accountant or paying for user-friendly software in order to file. Understandably, they were upset to discover that the government website could not keep up with demand on its most critical day of the year.
At a glance
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website slowed and sputtered on Tax Day earlier this week
- The IRS spends billions of taxpayer dollars on upgrades and tech services each year, but still operates with delays and backlogs
- Many taxpayers took to social media to express their frustrations
According to the most recent data available, the IRS spent over $2 billion dollars of taxpayer money in the 2020 fiscal year on account services alone. Throughout the day, web service outage tracking sites indicated an increase in outage reports. The IRS website experienced issues that surged mid-morning, and then remained elevated into the afternoon.
The IRS website reportedly displayed a message to users stating: “We are unable to complete your request” due to technical difficulties. As a result, thousands of frustrated comments flooded the outage tracking sites. One user said they hope the IRS does not penalize taxpayers as a result of their own incompetency.
“I can’t even revise my extended payment or anything,” the user wrote. “They better own up to their site problems and not penalize taxpayers. This is B.S.”
According to the IRS, their website slowed due to high demand
The IRS told Fox Business that its site never crashed a single time during the day.
“The IRS Online Account tool is seeing high demand, and taxpayers may experience short delays or wait times to access some features,” the agency said in a statement. “For taxpayers trying to make a payment, you can select the payment option in the waiting room of the Online Account tool or go directly to Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, and options to pay by credit card. Taxpayers can find those tax payment options on our website. The IRS apologizes for the inconvenience.”
In addition to slowdowns and delays, the site also reportedly locked some users out. It also displayed error messages when trying to actually pay the tax bill at the end. Some folks took to social media to vent their frustrations.
“Trying to pay but (so far) site has crashed, reloaded, then failed to log in,” one user declared on Twitter.
Another Twitter user chose more colorful language to express his disapproval.
“Thank you #IRS for having such a poor system in place. I can’t pay you the money I owe and will likely be fined for it because your system is down. After spending 4 hours trying to verify my identity through your new login process…get bent. #TaxDay.”