IRS restores e-filing services

By Paul Bonner
Updated: 

The IRS's tax return e-filing system was back in operation Thursday afternoon, a day after a computer hardware failure knocked out it and other IRS system services. According to the IRS, taxpayers do not need to take any additional steps or action due to the outage.

The failure occurred Wednesday afternoon, leaving the IRS's modernized e-file and related systems unavailable through Thursday afternoon, while the Service tried to make repairs and restore normal operations.

Taxpayer and practitioner tools were also affected. Although the irs.gov website remained in operation, several services on the website were unavailable, including Where’s My Refund. Until approximately 5 p.m., Eastern time, on Thursday, the modernized e-file status page at irs.gov indicated its production system and assurance testing system were not working and were unavailable until further notice.  

Modernized e-file is the IRS’s main electronic return filing platform, accepting many types of federal tax forms including those for employment taxes and excise taxes and for filing extensions of time to file. It also supports a federal-state program for a single point of submission for federal and state returns.

E-file providers could still accept returns and hold them for filing during the outage, the IRS said. The IRS said it was not anticipating major disruptions of tax refunds and said 90% of taxpayers would receive refunds within 21 days.

The IRS opened e-filing of tax year 2015 returns as scheduled on Jan. 19, and the system had worked satisfactorily until Wednesday.

Paul Bonner (pbonner@aicpa.org) is a JofA senior editor.

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