Is there a time period when individual and business returns cannot be e-filed due to IRS server maintenance procedures?
The IRS accepts e-file of individual and business returns for the current and two prior years - for example, during the 2022 filing season (tax year 2021), 2019, 2020, and 2021 returns are eligible for e-file. All other prior returns must be paper-filed. The IRS has an annual maintenance period (called a "blackout") during which certain types of returns are not accepted electronically. This is also referred to as the e-filing shutdown or cutover schedule.
See Related Links for scheduled outages in addition to the annual maintenance period.
The individual shutdown for tax year 2021 began on Saturday, November 26, 2022. MeF opens for production at 9:00 a.m. Eastern on January 23, 2023. At that time, the 2022, 2021, and 2020 returns can be e-filed.
The business shutdown for tax year 2021 began on Monday, December 26, 2022. MeF opened for production at 9 a.m. Eastern on January 12, 2023. All 2022, 2021, and 2020 business returns can now be e-filed.
States can continue to use all the service requests necessary to retrieve and process state submissions except during the shutdown activities shown above. MeF recommends that states adjust their processing schedule in order to retrieve submissions in time to validate returns and submit acknowledgements.
Some states, such as California, still allow for e-filing of state-only (a.k.a direct) individual returns even when the IRS is shutdown.