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E-file start and stop dates for federal returns

SOLVEDby IntuitLacerte Tax691Updated April 13, 2022

This article will help you determine whether you can e-file current federal tax returns for individuals, corporations, partnerships, and other businesses.

When can I e-file 2021 returns?

Return typeIRS opensIntuit opens
BusinessJanuary 7, 2022January 18, 2022
Individual (1040)January 24, 2022January 24, 2022

Open the sections below to see information on additional topics:

The IRS normally shuts down their e-file servers in November and December to prepare for the upcoming tax year. The Intuit Electronic Filing Center will stop accepting e-file transmissions before the IRS shutdown to ensure that all e-file submissions are received by the IRS before the shutdown.

After the shutdown, you'll no longer be able to e-file tax year 2018 returns nor receive e-file acknowledgements for tax year 2018 or prior returns. Tax year 2019 and 2020 returns can still be e-filed when the IRS re-opens for the tax year 2021 filing season.

IndividualShutdown began on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, in order to prepare the system for the upcoming Tax Year 2021 Filing Season.
Intuit began blocking these returns at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time to ensure that all returns in our system have time to process prior to the IRS shutdown.

Can I e-file prior-year business returns?

Yes, you can e-file the currently due tax year and two prior years (after the IRS opens e-file for the current tax season). For example, once the IRS has opened e-filing for tax year 2021 returns, you'll still be able to e-file 2020 and 2019 business returns. Extension filings are only available for the currently due tax year.

Can I e-file prior-year individual returns?

Yes. You can generally e-file the currently due tax year and two prior years. Extension filings are only available for the currently due tax year.

What about prior-year state returns?

Many states support e-filing the currently due tax year and two prior years, just like the IRS. Exceptions include Rhode Island and Maine. Rhode Island only allows e-filing of current-year returns. Maine allows e-filing for two prior years by individual taxpayers, but only supports the current year and one prior year for business returns. Check your state’s website for more details.

When an e-filed return or extension is rejected, the IRS provides a Transmission Perfection Period, or look back period, to correct the filing and re-transmit it. If the previously rejected filing is accepted by the IRS within the perfection period, it'll be considered to have been received on the date of the first rejection that occurred within the period.

Extensions for individuals and businesses are typically granted 5 calendar days. Business returns are granted 10 calendar days, while individual returns have a perfection period of 5 days. For more details on the perfection period, see IRS Pub. 4164. Check your state’s website to verify whether they allow the same perfection period as the IRS.

Some states have different perfection periods than the federal return.

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