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 begins on Saturday, November 26, 2022. Submission transmission ends at 11:59 p.m. EST.
- This shutdown prevents e-filing of individual returns.
- Ack retrieval is not affected.
- MeF opens for production early 2023 (date has not yet been announced by IRS).
The business shutdown for tax year 2021 begins on Monday, December 26, 2022.
- This shutdown will prevent e-filing of business returns.
- Any acknowledgements not retrieved by 11:59 p.m. on December 26th cannot be accessed until MeF opens for production in January 2023.
- At that time the current and two prior years can be e-filed.
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.
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.