Drake Software blog for tax pros, covering tax, IRS news, and more

E-file Start Dates for States

E-file Start Dates for States

As a direct file state, the State of California can start receiving returns sooner than other states that are linked to the federal return.  Pre-Modernized e-file, we would refer to these other states as “Piggyback States”, because they were sent with the Federal return and made available to the states by the IRS.  The terminology and technology has changed, but those states continue to be dependent on IRS processing and associated schedules.  So, every state other than California will start processing on January 31. 

Massachusetts is the only other Direct-file state, however it is in the process of converting to a new modernized system of its own and we don’t anticipate the state to accept any returns prior to the IRS’s January 31 start date.

In harmony with the IRS, the states strongly prefer (and some mandate) e-file over paper returns, so don’t expect to have a paper return processed more quickly if you send it in January.  The recommendation is to prepare federal and state returns and e-file them to Drake.  We will stockpile the returns and send them as soon as we get the green light.

Drake will start receiving California returns on January 2 and forwarding them to the state that same day.

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