IRS computer problems shut down tax return e-file system

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS says it has stopped accepting electronically filed tax returns because of problems with some of its computer systems. The outage could affect refunds, but the IRS says it doesn't anticipate "major disruptions."

The agency on Wednesday experienced what it is calling a "hardware failure." The e-file system and the "where's my refund" service are among the affected areas.

The IRS says some systems will remain out of service at least until Thursday.

"The IRS is currently in the process of making repairs and working to restore normal operations as soon as possible. We anticipate some of the systems will remain unavailable until tomorrow," the IRS said in a statement Wednesday.

IRS.gov is still available, although a number of the services on the site are offline.

Taxpayers can continue to prepare their tax returns and can file their returns to their e-file provider, however those companies will hold the returns until the systems are back online.

If you have already filed your tax return, you will not be impacted by the outage.

Taxpayers can continue to send electronic returns to companies that serve as middlemen between taxpayers and the IRS.

But the agency says those companies have to hold on to the tax returns until the IRS systems are up and running again.

 The IRS says 90 percent of taxpayers will receive refunds within three weeks.