Is there a "blackout" period when MeF 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 2018 filing season (tax year 2017), 2015, 2016, and 2017 returns can be e-filed. All other prior returns must be paper-filed. The IRS has an annual maintenance period during which certain types of returns are not accepted electronically.
See Related Links for scheduled outages in addition to the annual maintenance period.
Individual e-filing shutdown / cut-over schedule. The individual shutdown for tax year 2016 will begin on Saturday, November 18, 2017. Submission transmissions will end at 10:00pm EST; acknowledgment retrieval from IRS ends at 11:59pm EST. This shutdown prevents e-filing of individual returns. The IRS will begin accepting all individual returns on January 29, 2018. Paper returns will begin processing later in mid-February as system updates continue.
Business e-filing shutdown / cutover schedule. The annual MeF business maintenance shutdown is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, December 26, 2017. Submission transmissions will end at 11:59am EST; acknowledgment retrieval from IRS ends at 11:59pm EST. The IRS will begin accepting all Business tax returns on January 8, 2018.
States can continue to use all the service requests necessary to retrieve and process state submissions until 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. Any acknowledgements not retrieved by 11:59 p.m. on December 26th cannot be accessed again until MeF opens for production in January 2018.