The Internal Revenue service (IRS) confirmed Friday that their website and systems, including Where’s My Refund?, are back online and processing is on time. The IRS also said that 9 out of 10 filers will receive their refunds within 21 days and those who were given an estimated date on the Where’s My Refund tool can expect to receive it on time.
The agency insisted the issue was caused by a hardware problem and not a hack or security breach of some kind. Earlier Thursday, an IRS spokesperson issued the following statement:
IRS teams continued working throughout the night and this morning on the system outage, and many of our tools and applications came back up this morning, including “Where’s My Refund” on IRS.gov. We are continuing our work and analysis of our return processing system; we hope to have that back up again running at some point today. We will provide a further update later today.
While the e-file system for individual and business returns remains unavailable, the IRS reminds taxpayers they can still prepare and file tax returns as they normally would. Taxpayers can continue to send their tax returns to their e-file provider; these companies will hold the tax returns until the IRS resumes accepting electronic tax returns. Taxpayers who have already filed their tax returns do not need to take any additional action.
In addition, we continue to expect that 9 out of 10 taxpayers will be issued their refunds within 21 days.
The IRS is continuing to examine the underlying cause of the outage yesterday. It’s important to note that at this time this situation appears to be a hardware failure.
The IRS released an additional statement as of 5:54pm EST:
The IRS announced it resumed processing individual and business tax returns at approximately 5 p.m. Thursday following resolution of its system outage. Many of the tools and applications came up earlier on Thursday morning, including “Where’s My Refund” on IRS.gov.
“IRS teams worked throughout the night and around the clock on this system outage,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. “Our processing systems are back in business. Taxpayers should see little, if any, impact on their tax returns or refunds. We apologize for the inconvenience this caused, and we appreciate the support and patience from taxpayers as well as our partners in the tax community and state revenue departments.”
The IRS emphasized that taxpayers do not need to take any additional steps or action due to the outage, including people who filed just before or during the outage. Throughout this period, taxpayers were able to continue to send their tax returns to their e-file provider; these companies have already started sending these tax returns into the IRS.
Taxpayers who have received a specific refund date from the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on IRS.gov should not be affected by the outage. The IRS reminds taxpayers that many variables factor into processing of tax refunds, including fraud prevention efforts, but we continue to anticipate that nine out of 10 taxpayers will receive their refunds within 21 days after being accepted by the IRS. In addition, the IRS reminds taxpayers that IRS.gov remains the best place to check for information on refunds. Additional information is available at: https://www.irs.gov/Refunds/What-to-Expect-for-Refunds-This-Year
The IRS is continuing to examine the underlying cause of the outage yesterday as well as monitoring any follow-up issues. It’s important to note that at this time this situation appears to be a hardware failure.