E-filing: Too Much of a Good Thing

The Internal Revenue Service encourages as many taxpayers to file electronically as possible. They may have got their wish, but now they have another problem.

So many taxpayers submitted their returns electronically on April 16, the deadline for having your taxes filed, that the servers at Intuit Inc., which processes the electronic tax returns for the IRS, became overloaded and slowed the filing of e-returns by hours, according to an Associated Press article. The delays may have caused many taxpayers to have missed the filing deadline.

Under normal working conditions, it takes a few minutes for an electronic tax return to complete its submission using TurboTax, according to the AP. But by late Monday, it was taking hours.

No word yet if IRS officials will grant amnesty from late penalty charges for those filers who missed the deadline because of the overloaded servers. But the lesson here, says Harry Pforzheimer, an Intuit spokesman, “Don’t wait until the last minute is the moral of the story."

But some IT experts may rebut, quoting the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared.