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e-file Waiver Issue: Catastrophic Event

A taxpayer who was subject to a catastrophic event and continues to incur undue hardship even after the period provided for under any specific IRS disaster or emergency relief procedures may request a waiver from the requirement to e-file.  If approved, the taxpayer will be allowed to file a paper return.

Examples of situations that could indicate continued undue hardship are:

  • The taxpayer redeployed personnel to temporary work locations as a result of the catastrophic event, and is not able to resume operations.  The waiver request should include a detailed explanation of the types of personnel redeployed and the length of time of the redeployment.   
  • The books and records used to prepare the return were destroyed in the catastrophic event.  The waiver request should include an explanation of the depth of records lost or destroyed.  If the taxpayer cannot access the records due to the catastrophe, the explanation should state the attempts the taxpayer took to obtain access and how the taxpayer intends to meet its filing obligations.
  • The taxpayer was prevented from implementing and testing e-file transmissions as a result of the business disruption caused by the catastrophic event.  The waiver request should include a detailed explanation of the events or compromises regarding the taxpayer's automated systems that prevents e-filing.
  • The taxpayer cannot afford to bear the additional cost of e-filing as a result of casualty losses suffered by the taxpayer.  The waiver request should include a detailed explanation of the costs to be incurred and its impact relative to the catastrophic event, i.e. business resumption needs.  

For 2018, a taxpayer with this type of situation who is subject to the corporate e-filing mandate will be required to:

  • Request a waiver following the instructions in Notice 2010-13
  • Identify the waiver on the subject line or in the body as a Catastrophic Event Waiver 
  • File the original return on paper after the waiver is granted