IRS Whiffs On Windows XP Deadline, Will Pay Microsoft Millions For Extended Support

For an agency that’s quite stern about deadlines (reminder, by the way: tax day is on Tuesday), the IRS missed a big one. Perhaps you saw this one coming a mile away, but the IRS has failed to migrate all of its systems from Windows XP to Windows 7. (So we’re officially skipping Vista then, right? Right.)

Because Microsoft ceased support for XP a few days ago, that could leave the agency’s systems vulnerable, so the IRS has reportedly asked Microsoft to continue special support until it can finish upgrading all of its machines.

Windows XP BSOD

ComputerWorld reported that the IRS has has about 110,000 Windows computers, 52,000 of which have been upgraded to Windows 7 so far. The IRS is pulling $30 million from part of its budget in order to complete the Windows 7 migration, and a good chunk of that will be paid to Microsoft for its continued support, although the actual amount is unclear.

To be fair, the IRS isn’t the only one to have failed to update its operating systems despite having a six-year warning. The UK government, for example, is paying £5.548m for a year of extended XP support.

Further, the IRS says that none of these OS issues will impact tax filings for this year and further noted that its filing and major business systems all run Windows 7. Still, if you want to inject some good-natured ribbing into your desperate call to the IRS begging for a filing extension, now you have some topical humor to work with.