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IRS blames Tax Day woes on glitch in file that houses personal records

IRS blames Tax Day woes on glitch in file that houses personal records

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Washington, D.C., April 18, 2018 | comments

The Internal Revenue Service’s online tax filing systems failed widely on Tax Day because of a hardware “glitch” in the part of the agency’s operating system that houses taxpayers’ personal tax records, according to the tax collection agency.

The malfunctioning of IRS’s “master file” was discovered around 4 a.m. Tuesday, the biggest tax-filing day of the year. The impact of the problem spread because several other IRS systems rely on data from the agency’s “master file” to function, the IRS said in a statement to The Washington Post.

The IRS emphasized there was no reason to believe taxpayers’ private data had been breached. “There’s no data loss,” the agency said. “Taxpayers have nothing to be concerned about.”

The technology failures delayed millions of taxpayers as they tried to submit their returns online and forcing the agency to push back its original Tuesday deadline to the end of Wednesday. For much of the day, access was blocked for filers who use online tax preparation software, such as TurboTax or tools from H&R Block, or pay their taxes directly to the IRS online. An erroneous page linked to in the IRS’s online payment section described a “Planned Outage: April 17, 2018 — December 31, 9999.”


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