'Direct Pay' Option on IRS Website Goes Down on Tax Day

Illustration for article titled Direct Pay Option on IRS Website Goes Down on Tax Day
Photo: Getty

Americans are scrambling to get their taxes filed with Uncle Sam on Tuesday, and as they cross the final hurdle on the Internal Revenue Services website, they’re getting a disturbing message: Direct Pay is currently unavailable. The Acting Commissioner for the IRS says you still have to pay, though.


As of publication, if you visit the Direct Pay page, you see the following message above the usual instructions:

Illustration for article titled Direct Pay Option on IRS Website Goes Down on Tax Day
Screenshot: IRS Website

Twitter users aren’t happy, complaining about high fees, unplanned trips to the Post Office, and confusion over whether their payment is still due today. To be clear: You still have to pay.

CBS News reports that IRS Acting Commissioner David Kautter appeared before the House Oversight Committee this morning to report on improvements to taxpayer services, among other things. Kautter told Congress in his written testimony that the Direct Pay service has been used 4.1 million times this fiscal year. Unfortunately, he had to acknowledge at the hearing that the service was currently down saying, “We are working to resolve the issue and taxpayers should continue to file as they normally would.”

There are still a number of payment options available—they’re just more inconvenient. Making a credit card payment with the IRS official portal will cost you 1.99% of the bill with a minimum fee of $2.50. There are also two authorized partners that users can pay with that offer slightly lower fees with higher minimums.


You should also be able to file the old fashioned way by sending a check that gets postmarked with today’s date. We’ve reached out to the IRS to confirm that no unexpected changes have occurred to the snail mail process, and we’ll update this post when we receive a reply.

[IRS via CBS News]


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Why do we still have to file our own taxes? The government already has most of the information they need, if not all, for most workers who hired by a single employer to know our tax responsibility. Why waste out time, money, and sanity on filing our taxes when we could just be double-checking what the government has on file?