Electronic Communication Between IRS and Transmitters During the MeF e-File Process


IRS issues several notifications to the transmitter during the various stages of Modernized e-File (MeF) processing.  If a taxpayer uses a third party transmitter to send their electronic return to IRS, they should check with their transmitter for specific information.  

  • When the transmission to IRS is successful, the IRS immediately notifies the transmitter that the transmission was received and the return(s) is/are ready to begin processing.
  • Once the transmission file is received, the MeF system validates the returns in the transmission file and creates an acknowledgement file within 24 hours for each one.
    • If the electronic return passed MeF validation, an accepted acknowledgment file is generated. 
    • If the electronic return failed MeF validation, a reject acknowledgement file is generated and contains:

      Error Category - Errors are grouped into a small number of categories

      Error Message - Rule text or XML validator message

      Rule Number - Each rule is identified by a unique rule number

      Severity - 'Reject And Stop' or 'Reject' or 'Alert' 
      (An alert does not cause the return to reject. Information is being provided in the alert to the taxpayer about a condition in that return; however, the return does not reject because of that condition.)

      Data value - Data value causing the violation (when appropriate)