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IRS E-File system crashes on Tax Day, promises to reopen within 8,000 years

The day you’ve been waiting for is finally here. Tuesday, April 17 is Tax Day, America’s favorite holiday, and to celebrate, the Internal Revenue Service is currently experiencing an outage. But its website claims the E-File system is down for scheduled maintenance, with plans to go back up sometime between April 17, 2018, and December 31, 9999.

As Vox points out, it’s likely the E-File outage is causing the “scheduled maintenance” error, and it’s very likely the system will go back up well before its quoted December 31, 9999 date. The IRS Direct Pay system is also down, so anyone who owes on their taxes will be unable to make payments until the system goes back up. The outage is likely the result of an influx of last-minute tax filings, overwhelming the IRS’ electronic filing system, despite the fact that the IRS sees a massive wave of traffic on Tax Day every year as people scramble to get their taxes in under the deadline.

Reportedly, third party solutions like TurboTax are unaffected, since you can file your taxes through a third party and they’ll just submit them to the IRS’ E-File system when it goes back up. However, if you were hoping to save yourself a couple bucks by filing yourself, you’ll probably want to keep an eye on this page for updates. As of this writing, the IRS website says the MeF (Modern E-File) system is currently offline with no further clarification.

Even the IRS Twitter account has yet to acknowledge the outage or offer a suggested timeframe for its return. “The MeF System is down, we are working on this as a priority,” the IRS E-File page warns. It’s important to point out that the deadline for tax filing is midnight in whichever time zone you happen to live in, so for filers on the East Coast, this outage couldn’t come at a worse time.

If the issue isn’t resolved by midnight Eastern Standard Time, it’s unclear what steps the IRS will take to reassure tax filers that their taxes won’t be marked late if they file them after the deadline due to this outage.

Chances are the deadline will simply be moved, but if you haven’t filed your taxes yet, keep an eye on IRS.gov.

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