Individual tax returns can no longer be e-Filed after shutdown
On Nov. 9, 2018, the IRS published IR-2018-218, announcing that it will shut down its e-File system for individual taxpayers’ 2017 Tax Year filings. The IRS e-File system will close on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. After Nov. 17, a taxpayer needing to file a return must do so on paper rather than using the e-File system. Later in 2018, the IRS will similarly shutdown the e-Filing system for corporations. That shutdown typically occurs in December, but the IRS has not yet issued an announcement.
Each year, the IRS shuts down its e-File system to perform maintenance and enable it to reprogram the system and prepare for the upcoming tax-filing season. This is generally done after the vast majority of taxpayers have filed their tax return. This year, however, there is a significant number of taxpayers who have not yet filed their tax returns due to various disaster events.
The IRS postponed the filing deadline for numerous taxpayers impacted by the recent hurricanes and other disasters. These taxpayers are situated in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virgina, Wisconsin and the Northern Mariana Islands. Impacted taxpayers include calendar year taxpayers who had a valid 6-month extension of time to file their federal tax returns. Taxpayers in those regions may qualify to have their tax return due date postponed until the date provided by the specific region’s IRS disaster relief announcement.
Information on previous disaster relief can be found on the Tax Relief in Disaster Situations page of the IRS website.
Individual filers who have not filed their returns and who anticipate missing the e-Filing deadline should speak to their tax advisors about how the shut down will affect their filings.