"On my way over here this morning, I was told a number of systems are down at the moment", IRS Acting Commissioner David J. Kautter told lawmakers at an oversight hearing Tuesday.
The problem is believed to be a hardware failure, and the IRS is rebooting its systems, said a congressional aide familiar with the matter.
In a statement, the IRS confirmed that the problems are ongoing. "Taxpayers should continue filing their tax returns as they normally would".
The agency did not provide details on the nature or extent of the technical issues.More news: S.Korea says officials may visit N.Korea ahead of summit
Kautter explained that the issue was most likely technical difficulties on internal IRS servers, but he said he could not rule out a potential cyberattack or similar interference. The website said it was undergoing a "planned outage" beginning on Tax Day that would last until December 31, 9999.
The IRS has been trying to update its outdated computer systems for several years, and agency leaders have warned about potential malfunctions and said they are guarding closely against external threats. Congress just approved $320 million for the IRS to implement the tax law that passed previous year.
Visitors to the IRS payment site saw one of two messages: One that says the website is unavailable.
The information put at risk included Social Security numbers, birth dates and other data that cyber thieves could use to impersonate a real taxpayer, file a false federal tax return and collect a refund.More news: Supreme Court Strikes Down Mandatory Deportations for Immigrants Convicted of Some Crimes
Donald Trump has filed for an extension on his 2017 tax returns. It's also the final day to pay any additional money they owe to Uncle Sam for 2017.
"Tax Day is already a stressful time for millions of Americans, even when everything goes right", said Mr. Neal, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee.
The IRS typically recommends that taxpayers use electronic filing to avoid common mistakes.More news: Kelly 'Sex Cult' Accuser Claims Singer Infected Her with STD
- CNN's Gregory Wallace and Jeanne Sahadi contributed reporting.
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