THOSE HARRIED procrastinators who were hoping to file their city taxes online or access related forms on Sunday were met with an unpleasant surprise: Philadelphia's Department of Revenue website was down due to "routine maintenance."
Scheduled maintenance for the website occurs every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., but many questioned a routine maintenance the day before taxes were to be paid.
"Why would you schedule maintenance the day before the deadline?" City Councilman Mark Squilla said Monday.
Philadelphians were unable to access forms, print payment vouchers, make online payments or file for an extension.
Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said the Office of Innovation & Technology, which manages the website, will consider next year whether they "want to take down a system the day before taxes are due."
But even after the routine maintenance was supposed to be complete, the website remained down until 6 a.m. Monday morning.
"We experienced problems on the site and simply could not get it back up and running," McDonald said, adding that the city has extended the deadline to file returns for Business Income and Receipts Tax, the Net Profits Tax, the School Income Tax and the Earnings Tax to Tuesday.
"It was not a stellar day in maintaining that system a day before taxes were due," McDonald said.
With the city transitioning to a new property-tax system, the Actual Value Initiative, tax collection has been a hot topic these days. Mayor Nutter has vowed to go after tax deadbeats who owe the city millions of dollars and recently appointed Thomas Knudsen, a veteran crisis manager, to head the city's collection efforts.
Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez said the website's woes point to a "need for a comprehensive review of collection strategies."
Meanwhile, most state government websites, including the Department of Revenue's, were also down Monday, prohibiting many Pennsylvanians from using online tax-filing tools.
State officials noticed the problem about 1:30 p.m., and service was restored to most of the sites about 4 p.m., said state press secretary Dan Egan, adding that there was an internal problem within the state system.
The deadline to file state taxes was also extended to Tuesday.