IRS E-File system crashes on Tax Day because LOL nothing matters

Usually I file early to get my loot back faster, and I like to ninja around a bit with the software iso max returns. That hasn’t been the case at all this year, just waaay too fuckin busy. Fortunately, it’s the first time in my adult life where I don’t desperately need it right away, so a reasonable delay shouldn’t be too much trouble. I do have some upcoming big ticket things tho, so I hope it’s no biggie. Think I’ll file over the weekend.


I am not a CPA, but I believe that if you owe money then filing the extension gets you off the hook for the “failing to file” penalty which is like 5% / month up to max of 25% of what you owe. You still have the “failure to pay” penalty which is like 4-5% / year.


If more patriotic, red-blooded Americans would just follow the (apparent) example of our President™ and simply not pay taxes, this wouldn’t have happened. Sure, you’ll need to hire a lawyer at some point, but don’t we all? Even our lawyers need lawyers these days. It’s like a Möbius strip made out of lawyers.


Yep! I’m 4 for 5 on audits, and when I was able to prove that indeed, I was that much of a pathetic scrub with petroleum royalties*, my penalty came to a grand total of $17. I spent more than that by running around making copies and requesting documents from distant companies.

  • Yay! My siblings and I inherited a gas well! Uh-oh…it’s so sucked dry already it’s classified as a Stripper Well, and we get taxed at a pity rate.

They most certainly will, I think they still want the money!

Isn’t there free e-file…?

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Apparently The Sandman has… I got 3 hours of sleep last night and at best 30 mins last night, I’m still at the office after going strong all day off one cup of coffee, and I am still not crashing out.

I am, however, a pretty ragingly hardcore insomniac, but still, this is abnormal for me.


Oh, it’s not the extra effort for extension filing that’s the problem – mass filed 100+ earlier this morning in a couple minutes, software makes it pretty much mindless. It’s that there are always a group of clients who, discovering they have a couple extra days (like this year), stretch out the getting their last second info to us even longer. It’s high time I have a break from the 10-key… :wink:


I spent a couple years working as a tech monkey for a CPA during tax season. Since then I typically hold off till the last weekend before the deadline to do mine.

Tax Software typically ships/hits the web with out the most updated forms and numbers. If you update things, or log into whatever website too early your doing your returns with the preliminary versions. And if your CPA does your return early same deal (cause his software is the same way, and his big thick books of tax code are like wise not fully updated). There can be surprisingly large changes in how much you owe or how much your getting back when these things get properly updated closer to the tax deadline. And it can cause some other issues as well. If you file towards the end of tax season, make sure to update the software. You avoid that.

Good CPA will update the software, reprocess/check every return, and push them out e-file (or on paper) during the last week before the deadline for that reason.

Its not hard to get an extension. The hard part is that people don’t seem to understand what an extension is. Its an extension to file the paper work. If you owe money you still have to pay it by the tax deadline. So you still have to cut a check with the extension paper work. Usually extrapolated from the previous years return. If you expect a return or payed estimated tax payments you’re usually cool.

So it ain’t free. The extension the IRS is talking about if it stays down. Is an extension on filing paperwork and making the payments.

The deadline (for now) is today. Efile or posted by 4/17. I’m sure you’ll get time this year due to efile weird. But there are penalties involved with doing it even a week late.

Free efile yes. Free tax prep no. Most of the websites and softwares people use to do their taxes let you do the fed for free. And charge for states. You can do it all yourself with a calculator, the pdfs, and enough knowledge of what you’re required to file/allowed to deduct and how. But it can be weird doing it that way.


Oh, I’ll be getting a refund. No penalty.

They’re extending the deadline a day


Then make sure to file extension paperwork. I think there’s a penalty for not filing that’ll eat part of that refund. It takes about 10 seconds to efile an extension. And if the systems still down you can toss it in the mail tomorrow. The post mark will cover your ass.

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From turbodonkey:

If you have a refund coming from the IRS—as about three out of four taxpayers do every year—then there is no penalty for failing to file your tax return by the deadline, even if you don’t ask for an extension.



Like I said I was just the tech monkey at that accountants office. Though a big part of my job was having circular conversations about extensions.


Hey I don’t unappreciate the advice🖖

Just believe I looked it up. I ain’t tryin to donate one red cent more than I must.

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Only if your combined household income is under a certain amount. Basically the people who make enough to afford a tax preparer are all but compelled to use one.


Yeah…lucky me. I haven’t had to file taxes since 2013. Wheeeee!


You can use Free Fillable Forms which is an e-File of the forms… it’s very bare bones, but it’s free. And it’s the forms. So if you can handle the forms, you can file your taxes for free. But it’s very bare bones.


… and that’s why we need sleep. :wink:


I’ve used “Free Fillable Forms” the last several years, but it REALLY sucks. In some ways it’s worse than paper. You still need to do just as much work as if you were filling out the forms by hand, but it won’t give you any warnings if you’ve got some minor little thing filled out in some inconsequential wrong way until you submit it and then a few hours later get a “rejected” message emailed to you. Here is one of the helpful error messages that I received after submitting a form a couple years ago:

"Issue : Business Rule X0000-005 - The XML data has failed schema validation. cvc-complex-type.2.4.a. Invalid content was found starting with element ‘ControlNum’. One of ‘{“”:EmployerNameControlTxt}’ is expected.

The following information may help you determine the form at issue:
Field/Xpath: /efile:Return[1]/efile:ReturnData[1]/efile:IRSW2[1]/efile:ControlNum[1]"

It’s pretty obvious that, due to heavy lobbying, system was designed to be as painful as possible.

In contrast, the Californiafree filing system for state taxes (Calfile) is much more user friendly. No big complaints there.