IRS

Hardware failure brings down tax systems

Shutterstock image. Copyright: stefanphotozemun

The IRS experienced a hardware failure across several systems, forcing the tax agency to suspend electronic filing as tax season kicked off.

"Several of our systems are not currently operating, including our modernized e-file system and a number of other related systems," the IRS said in a statement posted late on Feb. 3.

Affected systems included electronic filing and the "Where's My Refund?" tool. The IRS.gov website remained online.

According to the most recent update on the federal IT Dashboard, the Modernized e-File system hit its target of 99 percent uptime.

In its statement, the agency indicated that systems could be back online today, but an IRS spokesman did not immediately respond to FCW's request for comment.

In the meantime, taxpayers can still submit their returns to tax-preparation companies, which will hold them until IRS systems are back online, the agency said.

"At this time, the IRS does not anticipate major refund disruptions," the statement reads. "We continue to expect that 9 out of 10 taxpayers will receive their refunds within 21 days."

The outage is the latest in a long list of IRS tech troubles, including a programming glitch that paid millions in fraudulent refunds and the 2015 breach of the "Get Transcript" web app.

The latest omnibus appropriations bill earmarked $290 million for taxpayer services, fraud prevention and cybersecurity at the IRS.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who has called for IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to be impeached, condemned the latest outage in a Feb. 4 statement.

"The IRS doesn't have its house in order at any level," said Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "The committee has been long concerned about IT vulnerabilities at the IRS. Under Mr. Koskinen's poor management, problems fester and the American people suffer."

About the Author

Zach Noble is a former FCW staff writer.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity
    CISA chief Chris Krebs disusses the future of the agency at Auburn University Aug. 22 2019

    Shared services and the future of CISA

    Chris Krebs, the head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at DHS, said that many federal agencies will be outsourcing cyber to a shared service provider in the future.

  • Telecom
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA softens line on looming EIS due date

    Think of the September deadline for agencies to award contracts under the General Services Administration's $50-billion telecommunications contract as a "yellow light," said GSA's telecom services director.

  • Defense
    Shutterstock photo id 669226093 By Gorodenkoff

    IC looks to stand up a new enterprise IT program office

    The intelligence community wants to stand up a new program executive office to help develop new IT capabilities.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.