Back in the old days before the internet, it was an annual tradition to drive the sealed federal income tax form and the check for what was owed to the main post office in the area where postal workers were standing in the middle of the street until midnight to take them on deadline day. Nowadays, anyone with a computer just does the deed online and hits send. So long as the IRS servers are up and running, it works great.
In 2018, on deadline day, the system crashed.
“A number” of systems used by the Internal Revenue Service that allow taxpayers to file required forms and payments crashed – on the day that those documents were due.
A Fox affiliate in Denver, KDVR, reported the IRS said in a statement, “Currently, certain IRS systems are experiencing technical difficulties. Taxpayers should continue filing their tax returns as they normally would.”
Just hit “save” instead of “send” and hope that the program one is using doesn’t go down as well?
The Washington Post quoted IRS Acting Commissioner David Kautter, who was talking with lawmakers at an IRS oversight hearing Tuesday, “On my way over here this morning, I was told a number of systems are down at the moment. We are working to resolve the issue…”
CNBC reported that one of the operations that was out of order was the “Direct Pay” process, which lets Americans pay their taxes with funds in a checking or savings account.
Oops. Does this mean that Americans might actually have to print out the darn forms, and write a check instead?
See, that’s the thing about technology. It’s great when it works. When it doesn’t, we have to remember how to go back in time and actually address an envelope, find some stamps because returns always were heavier than an ounce, and hope to Heaven the post office is open late on deadline day.