IRS Computers Won’t be Completely Shutting Down Over Columbus Day Weekend

Next Monday, October 12th, is Columbus Day. That’s a federal holiday. In prior years the IRS computer systems completely shut down over the three-day weekend. There was no efiling, no pulling of transcripts, no anything in dealing with the IRS. It’s not as if there’s a tax filing deadline just three days later (well, there is).

The tax professional community has complained for years about this practice. The IRS has made changes, and they’re for the better:

Following concerns from the tax professional community, the IRS has modified its Columbus Day power outage to minimize the impact of this critical maintenance period as much as possible. This year, the Columbus Day weekend maintenance period will not affect the Modernized e-File operation, a change from previous years. The maintenance requirements, however, will affect the e-services secure mailbox operations between Sunday, Oct. 11 from around 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time until Monday, Oct. 12 at approximately 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Please note those times could vary, depending on normal maintenance issues.

During this period, the Transcript Delivery System, TIN Matching and e-File application will be available and you can use the online method to print and view your documents. However, if you choose to use the secure mailbox, you will not be able to retrieve your documents until after the maintenance period ends. Bulk TIN Matching and Transcript Delivery requests should be submitted by 2:00 a.m. Oct. 11, to ensure delivery to the secure mailbox prior to the start of the maintenance period. The IRS appreciates the feedback it has received regarding the Columbus Day period, and it has tried to reduce the impact of this outage as much as possible while balancing the need for timely system updates during a critical period. Thank you for your patience.

(I looked for a link to this on the IRS website but couldn’t find one. The quote is from an email sent to me on Friday.)

The change is good, though it would be even better if the IRS chose a different weekend for all their activities. Still, it’s progress.

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