Knowledge Base

10747: Annual IRS Maintenance Blackout for MeF Returns

Deadlines + Extensions

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 2019 filing season (tax year 2018), 2016, 2017, and 2018 returns will be eligible for e-file. 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 2017 will begin on Saturday, November 17, 2018. 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 has not yet released the open date for e-filing 2018 returns. 

Business e-filing shutdown / cutover schedule. The IRS has not yet released the shutdown schedule for business returns. A Quick Alert with the dates and times is expected in early December. 

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.

More MeF service information may be available at the IRS MeF Status Page.

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