IRS direct payment website down on tax day

 cnet.com  4/17/2018 9:51:39 PM  3  David Katzmaier
tax-extension-file.jpg
IRS.gov

If you were waiting until the last minute to pay your taxes and were depending on IRS.gov to make a payment from your checking account, there's some bad news.

For most of Tuesday, the last day to file taxes, the Direct Pay section of the Internal Revenue Service's website wasn't working. Instead, people planning to pay electronically saw a message reading, "This service is currently unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience." 

Now there's good news -- of sorts. The site is working once again. And Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters Tuesday that Americans who couldn't pay their taxes because of the outage will receive an extension. There's no word yet on just how long that extension will last, but it's probably a good idea to get that payment in ASAP. 

Direct Pay is a service that lets taxpayers pay their estimated taxes directly via a bank account, free of charge. Paying with a credit card through the IRS site costs around 2 percent of the payment amount, starting at $2.50. 

Other payment options include paying through a service like H&R Block or Intuit's TurboTax. However, in that same hearing, the IRS's Kautter indicated that the agency was also having difficulty processing electronic returns from those vendors. That said, both companies said they were still accepting electronic submissions in the meantime.

"TurboTax has uninterrupted service and is available and accepting e-filed returns," an Intuit spokesperson said. "TurboTax will timestamp e-filed returns at the time of receipt with an electronic postmark and then hold them until the IRS is ready to begin accepting them again."

It's a similar story for H&R Block. "Despite the IRS outage, H&R Block is open and continuing to process tax returns for our clients. While the IRS system is down, we are completing the returns, which will be sent as soon as the IRS system reopens and will be considered filed on time. We are encouraging taxpayers to continue to use our retail services or our do-it-yourself products as they normally would," said a company spokesperson.

Originally published at 9:41 a.m. PT.
Update, 1:34 p.m. PT: Added comments from Intuit and H&R Block. 
Update, 2:20 p.m. PT:
Adds Mnuchin's promise of tax extension to people who couldn't use IRS website. 

IRS website suffers partial outage on Tax Day: Read coverage at CBS News.

How to do your own taxes: The best (and cheapest) online tools.

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