Guidance on Waivers for Corporations Unable to Meet e-file Requirements


IRS publishes fact patterns describing situations in which waivers will generally be granted, or not granted, under IRS Notice 2010-13, provides waiver guidance for corporations that cannot meet electronic filing requirements due to technology constraints or where compliance with the requirements would result in undue financial burden.

  • Notice 2010-13PDF replaces Notice 2005-88 and updates the procedures for requesting a waiver of the requirement to electronically file returns when required by regulations and IRS publications. The notice also outlines the specific steps taxpayers should follow when requesting waivers from the IRS. The notice also reduces the perfection period for rejected e-file returns from 20 to 10 days.
    • NOTE: To ensure your request receives timely consideration, fax it to 1-877-477-0575. We recommend you provide a contact name and telephone number on your waiver request to facilitate any follow up needs.

IRS may determine that a corporation has failed to file if it files a paper return instead of a required electronically filed return without first receiving a waiver. Additionally, elections attached to the paper filed return may be deemed invalid. The taxpayer may also be subject to additions to tax under I.R.C. §6651, which typically result in imposition of monetary penalties on the underpayment.

Another potential consequence of paper filing a return that is required to be electronically filed is that Forms 5471, Information Return of U.S. Persons With Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations, attached to the paper filed return may be considered filed late.  This may subject the taxpayer to the late filing penalty of $10,000 per form under I.R.C. § 6038(b).  For additional information regarding Automatic Assessment of Penalties refer to  Forms 5471 - Automatic Assessment of Penalties under IRC Section 6038(b)(1).

Situations in Which e-file Waivers Will Generally be Granted

  • 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.
  • Substituted Return Process 
    If a taxpayer has a business need to file a subsequent corporate income tax return for the same tax period prior to the extended due date of the return, the taxpayer should request a waiver. If the waiver is approved, the taxpayer will file the first return on paper and then the substituted (subsequent) return electronically.
  • Bankruptcy - Chapter 7
    The taxpayer, otherwise required to e-file, has filed a petition with the bankruptcy court under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Act.
  • Final or Last Required Return
    The taxpayer, otherwise required to e-file, will be filing their Final return, or last return they are required to file.

Situations in Which e-file Waivers Will Generally Not be Granted

  • Software Limitations
    The Service will generally not approve a request to waive the electronic filing requirement if the software purchased or licensed by a taxpayer or a return preparer which does not include all of the features necessary to comply with the Modernized e-File requirements set forth in IRS regulations, revenue procedures, publications, and other instructions posted to the website.

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