e file for Large and Mid Size Corporations Frequently Asked Questions Modernized e File, Benefits, and Overview - Tax Year 2017


Archived Guidance for prior year FAQs

A. Modernized e-File, Benefits, and Overview





What is e-file for large and mid-size corporations?

IRS e-file is the name for the electronic filing of tax returns. When a corporation e-files they send their income tax return data to IRS electronically instead of on paper forms. In 2004 IRS started a new e-file system for corporations, referred to as “Modernized e-File” (MeF) that is web-based, allowing electronic filing of corporate income tax returns through the Internet. MeF uses the widely accepted XML format, a standardized way of identifying, storing and transmitting data.

Certain corporations are required to e-file as explained in these FAQs. With few exceptions, all corporations that file TY2015, TY2016, and TY2017 Forms 1120, 1120S, or 1120-F may file electronically.

IRS e-file is available to corporations that prepare and/or transmit their own returns and to those that rely upon a tax professional to prepare and/or transmit their returns.


Are there corporations that file Forms 1120, 1120S, or 1120-F that can not file their tax returns electronically?

The Corporate e-file Program does not accept and process the following corporate returns. Therefore, the corporation is excluded from the electronic filing requirement under TD 9363 unless otherwise noted.

  • Returns with tax periods ending prior to January 1, 2015
  • Returns covering multiple tax periods
  • Bank Holding Company Tax Act. Election to make installment payments for a portion of the total tax attributable to the Bank Holding Company Tax Act
  • Prompt Assessments

The following forms cannot be filed electronically as a return at the parent level:
Corporations required to e-file subsidiary returns for the following forms must file them in XML format. Refer to " Tax Year 2017 Directions to e-file" for additional information.


Life Insurance Company


Property and Casualty

If the forms listed below are stand-alone filings (not part of a consolidated return), they must be filed in paper since the Modernized e-File (MeF) system does not process them at this time. However, if the following forms are part of a consolidated return, they may be attached in PDF format. They should be named appropriately and attached to the top-level consolidated return. See: Recommended Name and Descriptions for PDF Files Attached to MeF Business Submissions

1120-C (formerly 990-C)

Farmer's Cooperative Association


Foreign Sales Corporations


Homeowners Association


Interest Charge Domestic International Sales


Nuclear Decommission Trusts


Real Estate Investment Trust


Regulated Investment Companies


Settlement Funds

The 1120X cannot be e-filed as a stand-alone return. It can only be submitted as an attachment to an 1120 return


Amended Return



Does that mean a corporation can e-file a 52-53 week, short period, or final Tax Year 2017 1120/1120S/1120-F income tax return?

Yes, IRS modified MeF programs so corporations can file income tax returns for:

  • 52-53 week
  • short period
  • final returns


Can I electronically file my corporation State income tax return?

The IRS worked with the Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA) and 28 state tax agencies to develop a fed/state electronic filing system for business tax returns filed on Modernized e-File. The system was implemented by the IRS in 2006. Check with your State tax authorities for specific information about state electronic filing options available to corporations