Taxes: IRS systems collapse on tax day
The Internal Revenue Service gave taxpayers an extra day to electronically file their returns this week, after a catastrophic computer glitch knocked the agency’s site offline on tax day, said Jeff Stein in The Washington Post. “Senior government officials were at a loss to explain” what caused the “stunning breakdown,” which left last-minute filers unable to process or pay their taxes on April 17. The agency said it undertook a hard reboot of its systems but declined to say why the site crumpled.
Autos: Tesla’s troubles continue
Production on Tesla’s troubled Model 3 sedan has skidded to a halt again, said Dana Hull in Bloomberg.com. The electric-auto maker shut its assembly line temporarily this week after founder Elon Musk admitted “mistakes” are hindering “his most important car.” It’s the second time this year Tesla has paused manufacturing on the Model 3. Musk described the previous shutdown as necessary for routine improvements on production bottlenecks, but conceded last week that “excessive automation” at the facility was a problem.
Gig economy: TaskRabbit temporarily shuttered
TaskRabbit was forced to shut down its app and website this week while it investigated “a cybersecurity incident,” said Sara Ashley O’Brien in CNN.com. The on-demand gig marketplace website, which was purchased by Ikea last year, was thrown into chaos as workers and customers were unable to access its system during the breach. The company, which said it was actively working with security services and law enforcement agencies to rectify the matter, warned customers their passwords may have been stolen and that incomplete tasks would be rescheduled “as soon as possible.”
E-commerce: SCOTUS weighs state taxes
A narrowly divided Supreme Court “struggled” this week to decide whether online retailers should have to collect sales taxes in states where they have no physical presence, said Adam Liptak in The New York Times. It was not clear at the end of oral arguments whether there were five votes to overturn a 1992 decision that prevents states from collecting sales taxes from out-of-state companies. Brick-and-mortar stores have long complained they are disadvantaged by the law, and states say they are missing out on billions of dollars in revenue. But several justices “expressed concerns about imposing crushing burdens on small businesses” and suggested punting the issue to Congress.