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IRS announces e-filing shutdown for system update

IRS announces e-filing shutdown for system update

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has scheduled a temporary shutdown of its e-filing system for individual tax returns.

This is a routine process to prepare for the upcoming 2023 tax filing season. The shutdown is set to begin on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Specifics of the shutdown

Individual tax returns

  • Shutdown Start: November 18, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. EST.
  • Affected Services: The shutdown will specifically impact the "Send Submissions" service for both state and federal Form 1040 filings.
  • Services Unaffected: Other services, including "Get Acks" (acknowledgements) and all state services, will remain operational.

Business tax returns

  • The IRS has not yet announced a specific shutdown date for business (BMF) returns.

State returns

  • States will continue to process state submissions, except during the shutdown activities. Some states, like California, may still allow e-filing of state-only individual returns even during the IRS shutdown.

Modernized e-File (MeF) system status

  • Current Status: Operational, with routine maintenance scheduled every Sunday from 12:01 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Eastern.
  • During Maintenance: MeF will accept submissions but will not generate acknowledgements or process state services.

Preparing for the shutdown

Taxpayers and tax professionals should plan accordingly for this temporary interruption. Here are some useful tips:

  • Submit Early: If you have tax filings due around the shutdown date, consider submitting them well in advance.
  • Check State Requirements: If you're filing state returns, verify if your state has different e-filing options during the IRS shutdown.
  • Stay Informed: Keep an eye on the IRS website for updates on the e-filing system status and any changes to the shutdown schedule.
  • Plan for Business Filings: If you have business tax filings, stay alert for announcements regarding the BMF return e-filing shutdown.

Post-shutdown resumption

The IRS is expected to reopen the e-filing system for individual returns in early 2024, though a specific date has not been announced.

Taxpayers and tax professionals should monitor the IRS and state tax authority websites for updates on the resumption of services.

Taxes, unlike shutdowns, never end.
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Ines Zemelman, EA
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