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IRS gives taxpayers one-day extension to file taxes after payment site crashes

Tax Deadline

The IRS will give last-minute filers additional time to file their tax returns after the web page for paying their tax bills using their bank accounts crashed, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, according to the Associated Press.

The page was operational again as of 5:05 p.m. ET on April 17 — Tax Day — after being unavailable for most of the day.

Direct Pay is a free service.

The "Payment Plan" page, where filers can pay their tax bill in installments also appears to be back online after having crashed earlier.

"I'd strongly advise folks who owe any federal taxes and cannot pay online to mail a check or money order to the IRS to the appropriate address," said Patrick Thomas, director of Notre Dame Law School's Tax Clinic.

Ways to pay

Filers can use the IRS site to pay via a debit or credit card; however, you'll be on the hook for fees ranging from $2 to $3.95 for debit transactions and expenses approaching 2 percent for credit card payments.

You can also pay what you owe with a paper check.

IRS Acting Commissioner David J. Kautter told The Washington Post that filers wouldn't be penalized if their returns were late due to the site's problems. Normally, you're liable for penalties if you fail to file your return and pay your taxes in a timely fashion.

"We understand that the IRS is experiencing technical difficulties today with the transmission of direct tax return payments," said Richard Neal, D-Mass., the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

"Given this news, I hope that the IRS will make accommodations so that every taxpayer attempting to file today has a fair shot to do so without penalty," he said.

Tax prep providers affected

A spokesperson at commercial tax preparer TurboTax said that the IRS's technical difficulties affects all tax preparers and tax returns.

"Taxpayers should go ahead and continue to prepare and file their taxes as normal with TurboTax," the spokesperson said.

"TurboTax has uninterrupted service and is available and accepting e-filed returns," she said. "We will hold returns until the IRS is ready to begin accepting them again."

H&R Block said it will continue to accept returns from filers.

"Despite the IRS outage, H&R Block is open and continuing to process tax returns for our clients," said an H&R Block spokesperson.

"While the IRS system is down, we are completing the returns, which will be sent as soon as the IRS system re-opens and will be considered filed on time."

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