IRS needs to modernize crashing computer system, lacks funds

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) postponed the final deadline for taxpayers to file their fiscal year 2017 tax returns until midnight on Wednesday, after a computer glitch maimed critical online services on Tuesday.

In a statement released late Tuesday, the agency referred to the computer problems as "system issues," after having termed them "technical difficulties" earlier in the day.

On what is typically the busiest tax day of the year - with five million returns filed on the final day of the season in 2017 - software failures highlight a desperate need for the agency to modernize its systems - just one of the many challenges the IRS has faced throughout recent years.

The bulk of the IRS' computer systems reside in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and they are the oldest of any used by the federal government, according to an associate professor of history at the University of Georgia. The IRS is also reportedly still running the same code it developed 60 years ago.

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