Taxpayers don't need to do anything to get the extra day.
The system returned to service late Tuesday afternoon, and the filing deadline will now extend through Wednesday at midnight, the IRS said in a tweet. "We are working to resolve this issue, and taxpayers should continue to file their returns as they normally would", Kautter told members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Mark Everson, the vice chairman of tax advisory firm AlliantGroup LP, who served as IRS commissioner from 2003 to 2007, said that the system failure shows Congress has to work with the IRS to ensure the agency has appropriate funding.
Apparently the problem was related to the "transmission" of tax returns from software providers like H&R Block and Turbo Tax.
The Treasury Department will grant extra time to US taxpayers who have been unable to submit their returns electronically after a computer malfunction disrupted the IRS website.
The IRS has not determined the source of the problem, but the problem was resolved by early evening.
The malfunction comes as Republican lawmakers have been mulling legislation to restructure the IRS, which will face additional strain as it tries to issue new guidance and regulations to clarify lingering questions about the new tax law. Electronic filing is the most popular way to file in the US. And the IRS offered no immediate solution but said the returns will be processed when feasible.
"The most visible service the IRS provides each year is delivery of a smooth tax filing season", he wrote. "In the event that taxpayers affected by the IRS issue did not take the steps to submit their state returns electronically, we thought it prudent to grant a concurrent extension".
While Direct Pay isn't the only way to make a payment, it's one of the few that doesn't cost extra. More than 9 in 10 taxpayers file their returns electronically, according to IRS figures. Credit and debit cards can be used to make payments on a number of sites, although they require an added fee.
Taxpayers who are expecting a refund can request a six-month extension to file, but any taxes owed are due by the end of Wednesday.