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News Brief: The IRS systems that allow U.S. taxpayers to file tax returns electronically partially failed Tuesday, less than 24 hours before the tax filing deadline, according to numerous reports. The cause for the failure was not immediately clear, the Washington Post reports, but is likely due to an internal technical failure. There is the possibility the failure was the result of outside actors conducting a cyber attack. IRS officials instructed taxpayers to continue filing as normal. The IRS processes more than 140 million tax returns every year, of which 120 million are filed electronically.

Update: Washington state Representative Suzan DelBene issued a statement decrying the failure and urging the IRS to extend the filing deadline for anyone affected by the technical problems. Read her statement in full below:

The notion that on Tax Day – when millions of hardworking people across the country are trying to pay their taxes lawfully and on time – the IRS’ online payment system suddenly crashes, shows there’s still much work to be done in addressing this critical issue.

I call on the IRS to grant extensions to anyone who is unable to pay their taxes on time through their website because of today’s failure. As a member of the Subcommittee on Oversight, I am committed to working with the IRS to find solutions.

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