This week, the IRS is running limited testing of their E-filing system. During this week, transmitters like Drake Tax Software can send a very few returns. We began the testing on Tuesday the 10th, and it runs through Friday the 13th.
Then next week, on January 17th at 10:00AM (local time at each service center), the IRS hubs go live with Electronic filing for 2011 tax returns.
The IRS anticipates that the first acks will be released around 11:00am (local time at each service center). HOWEVER, you should be prepared for it to take longer than that on the first day, because the IRS is going to have a lot of volume for their MeF (Modernized E-Filing) on that first day.
You might want to sign up for our TWITTER account, because I will TWEET as soon as we have acks to post next Tuesday. http://twitter.com/DrakeSoftware (@DrakeSoftware)
For those preparers who have signed up with Drake Software for an on-line filing website at 1040.com, we expect the acks to be available to the taxpayers on the same schedule. If you are a Drake Software preparer and have not signed up for a 1040.com web site, but would like to, then go to the Support site, login and look under "My Account > 1040.com Affiliation". It will give you an opportunity to earn from the increasing on-line tax return market.
I might note that even though the number of taxpayers who are E-filing themselves is increasing, the number of taxpayers who go to Tax Preparers is remaining pretty constant.
Many Happy Returns!!!