On Tuesday afternoon, Americans planning to file their taxes were met with an unexpected greeting of "temporary unavailability" on the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) website. That said, if you're wondering how to file your taxes while the IRS website is down, there are several options for you.
Update: The IRS website resumed functioning as normal on Tuesday evening. The agency announced that it would extend its tax deadline by one day because of the site crash, 'The Washington Post' reported.
Earlier: It's important to know these alternatives. After the "Direct Pay" option of the IRS website went kaput, some might think that the unavailability of the e-payment method means that they don't have to file their taxes today. But the IRS has indicated that taxpayers still need to make their payments.
If you can't use TurboTax or H&R Block, you still have other routes to choose from. For instance, you can try the IRS2Go app, ABC 11 reported. IRS2Go is the IRS's very own app which offers different features like finding out your refund status, learning how to prepare and file your own taxes, receiving tips and a separate security code for solid authentication. Above all, you can make a payment. It's for free and unlike its website equivalent, it seems to be working right now.
If you don't feel like touching the IRS right now, ABC 11 reported, you can also use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) at EFTPS.gov. You can make your payment on the website or by calling the EFTPS at 888-555-4477.
If you are willing to put down a fee, you can file your taxes by reaching out to a payment processor outside of the IRS website. A payment processor will charge you a nominal fee for the task. Depending on which website you choose from, the fee might be tax deductible but none of it goes to the IRS. As the IRS lists, websites like Pay1040.com, PayUSAtax.com, and OfficialPayments.com/fed are some options.
The fee alternates depending on what kind of card you're using. Take Pay1040.com as an instance. If you're using your debit card, you will be charged $2.59 as a flat fee on the website. The payment on your bank statement will appear as "United States Treasury Tax Payment." You should also remember that if you paid more than what you owed, the IRS will issue you a refund once the payment is made.
Plus, there are other and perhaps less-heard-of options. As Newsweek detailed, one option is to make use of the website called "Pay Near Me" which involves heading over to the closest 7-Eleven near you (and other stores) and making a payment in cash. The process is fairly simple. You give your zip code in the location field and it populates stores near you where you can pay your bills. Nifty.
These are just a few alternatives at your disposal. While a crashed website is the complete opposite of helpful, the internet is brimming full of options that can ease your tax day troubles. More importantly, as mentioned before, your filing has to be done today. Taxpayers need to file their payments before the American government's deadline which is midnight.
Additionally, if you're wondering what the IRS itself thinks of such website hiccups, you can read what its acting commissioner, David Kautter, said in an April 17 testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Kautter wrote, "The IRS is mindful of the need to do everything possible to provide taxpayers and their representatives with secure, high-quality assistance and services, through every available channel."
But on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported, Kautter said that he did not know what exactly caused the IRS website to malfunction. He said it was "probably" due to an internal glitch but he wasn't sure. The acting commissioner noted, "We are working to resolve the issue" and added, "Taxpayers should continue to file as they normally would." So, you know what to do.