Annual IRS Maintenance Shutdown Period for e-Filing Returns

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 2023 filing season (tax year 2022), 2020, 2021, and 2022 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. 

Individual Returns
The individual shutdown for tax year 2022 began on Saturday, November 18, 2023.
  • This shutdown prevents e-filing of individual returns for all years.
  • Ack retrieval is not affected. 
  • MeF opens for production on January 29, 2024.

Business Returns

The business shutdown for tax year 2022 began on Tuesday, December 26, 2023. 
Business MeF opens for production at 9:00 a.m. EST on January 16, 2024.


States can continue to use all the service requests necessary to retrieve and process state submissions except during the 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 (direct) individual returns even when the IRS is shutdown. 

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