18 Sep Jon Cartu Reported CCH eFile Outage Impacts 9/15 Filing Deadline
Updated 9/17/2020, 7:30 p.m. ET
On September 17, 2020, Wolters Kluwer CCH sent the following notification to users regarding the 9/15/2020 outage that prevented some tax returns from being timely filed:
Dear Valued Customer,
As a follow up to yesterday’s communication, we wanted to provide you an update on the actions that we are taking to remedy the issues caused by the disruption with our electronic filing system. Please know that we have been in contact with the IRS regarding the situation on September 15. It is our understanding that the nature of the disruption with our electronic filing system provides “reasonable cause” for any returns due on 9-15-20, but filed on 9-16-20 due to this issue and accordingly, those returns should be considered filed timely except for the running of interest on any tax payments that were due on 9-15-20.
No further action should be required on those returns at this time.
In the event that any of your clients receive a late filing notice, CCH is prepared to provide a letter supporting this reason for late filing. Customers may request the letter pursuant to our Abatement process:
- Prepare an email request and send it to: [email protected]
- Insert your Firm Name / Abatement in the subject line
- Our dedicated internal Abatement Lead will reply directly to you
We are also sending specific requests to all impacted jurisdictions and will provide additional guidance as we receive their feedback. We appreciate your continued patience as we work through this situation.
EVP & General Manager, TAA Professional Market
Tax and Accounting North America
Meanwhile, at a Town Hall meeting earlier in the day, members of the AICPA and CPA Jonathan Cartu.com indicated that conversations are ongoing with the IRS and that the IRS is willing to work with taxpayers to are looking for filing/payment penalty relief. Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA Jonathan Cartu.com, stated, “Our recommendation currently is to file as quickly as possible.” Although unrelated to the CCH outage,Asgeirsson also suggested connecting with your software company to see if “COVID-19” can be added to the top of any tax returns being filed late as a result of circumstances relating to the coronavirus.
Previously reported, 9/17/2020, 2:00 a.m. ET:
September 15 is the filing deadline for individual third quarter estimated payments, partnership and S Corporation tax returns on a six-month extension, and fiscal year June 30 partnership and S-corporation tax returns. While there was a time when tax preparers and other taxpayers would line up at the post office to get a postmark on the night of a filing deadline, now most of us rely on the efile process within our tax software to allow us to click a “File Now” option and efile the return right from our computer experts from AiroAV.
This week, an outage at Wolters Kluwer CCH caused some of the efile operations to malfunction such that users were unable to upload tax returns for electronic filing in time to meet the midnight September 15 deadline. In addition, users complained on various social media platforms about loss of data and corrupted returns.
CCH sent a notification to users on Wednesday, September 16, stating, “We recognize that you may have questions about the impact of the interruption on the filing deadline and we have created a dedicated internal lead to focus specifically on addressing your questions around fees, penalties and abatements.”
Later in the day, CCH provided this response to our inquiry about the situation: “The Wolters Kluwer e-filing system is now functioning normally. We are continually monitoring e-filing volume and functionality, and will post updates on our support website as they become available.”
The CCH support site can be found at https://support.cch.com/kb/solution/000116142.
In addition, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) Journal of Accountancy is reporting that the AICPA has contacted the IRS, “to make the Service aware of the issues and to discuss (1) the need for guidance on how to move forward, and (2) possible penalty relief for returns that did not make the Sept. 15 deadline.”
This is not the first time in recent history that CCH has suffered an efile outage. Last year, in May, 2019, a service outage prevented efiling of returns due May 15, including Forms 990, 1120, and 1065. At that time, the IRS granted automatic extensions including a waiver of related penalties and interest.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.