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Modernized e-File (MeF) for Individual Income Tax Program Information


The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) participates in the IRS Federal/State Electronic Filing Program under the MeF (Modernized e-File) platform. With federal/state filing, electronic IL-1040 and IL-1040-X returns are transmitted along with the federal return to the IRS and are then made available by the IRS for retrieval by IDOR. 

Upon retrieval, IDOR checks each electronic return for completeness and accuracy. An electronic acknowledgment is created for each electronic return indicating whether it has been accepted or rejected and is made available to the transmitter through the IRS acknowledgement system. If the return is acknowledged as accepted, the return is sent into regular processing channels. If the return is acknowledged as rejected, the acknowledgment will contain error codes that identify the reasons for rejection. 

IDOR establishes procedures for electronic filing of Illinois Individual Income Tax returns. Refer to Section 105 of the Illinois Department of Revenue Regulations. To be accepted as a participant, applicants must follow all the electronic filing procedures, requirements, and specifications. Software Developers must complete Form IL-8633-I, Application to File Illinois Individual Income Tax Returns Electronically for Software Developers. Electronic Return Originators and transmitters approved in the IRS Electronic Filing Program, and in good standing, are automatically enrolled in the Illinois program. 
IDOR reserves the right to limit the number of participants. We also reserve the right to suspend the electronic filing privilege of any participant who varies from these requirements, specifications, and procedures, or who does not consistently transmit error-free returns. 

Transmission of Returns

With the federal/state method, the electronic return is transmitted to the IRS as the "state packet" portion of the federal return. Returns may be transmitted to the IRS as linked or unlinked returns. When the state return is linked to the federal return, the IRS will make the state return available to IDOR for retrieval only after the federal return has been accepted by the IRS. When the state return is unlinked to the federal return, the IRS will acknowledge receipt of the return and make it available for retrieval by the department. 


The department creates an acknowledgment for each electronic return filed. All acknowledgments must be retrieved from the IRS acknowledgement system by the transmitter. Acknowledgments for electronic returns are created after the returns are retrieved from the IRS. Each acknowledgment indicates whether a return is accepted or rejected. If a return is rejected, business rule explanations will be provided to identify the reason.  Transmitters are responsible for retrieving electronic acknowledgments. Illinois provides a separate acknowledgment for each return and these acknowledgments should be retrieved on a continuous basis. You should not assume the return is an accepted return based on the acceptance of the federal return. Refer to the Business Rules, located on the FTA's State Exchange System, for more details.


All software developers who develop software to format or transmit electronic returns must pass testing with the department.  Testing material is provided by the department in the IL-1347, Illinois Electronic Filing Test Package.  Software developers should email with any questions.

Reject Resolution Procedures

There are two opportunities for rejection. The state packet may be rejected by the IRS at the time of transmission. In addition, once the state packet is accepted by the IRS, it may be rejected by IDOR after being retrieved from the IRS. Acceptance of the state packet by the IRS does not mean that the electronic return will be accepted by IDOR. 
If the electronic state packet is rejected by the IRS, the electronic federal return is rejected also, and vice versa. In the case of IRS rejection, the department has no knowledge that the electronic state packet exists or was rejected. After IRS rejection, both the electronic federal return and electronic state packet can be retransmitted to the IRS, assuming any errors can be corrected. Once both electronic returns are accepted, the IRS will make the state record available to the department for retrieval.  If, after being retrieved, the electronic state record is then rejected by the department, the electronic return can be corrected and retransmitted. Otherwise, the return must be filed on paper. 

Illinois Form IL-8453

Electronic returns filed by a tax professional require a Form IL-8453, Illinois Income Tax Electronic Filing Declaration, as the non-electronic portion of the accepted return. This declaration must be signed and given to the taxpayer along with their return copy and any associated support documents, including withholding documents [i.e. Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, Form 1099-DIV, Dividends and Distributions, Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, Form 1099-INT, Dividends and Distributions, Form 1099-K, Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions, Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, Form 1099-OID, Original Issue Discount, Form 1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRA's, Insurance Contracts, etc., out-of-state returns, and Form IL-1310, Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer (if filing an IL-1040 return on behalf of a deceased taxpayer)].  In addition, Electronic Return Originators (ERO) are required to retain all original Forms IL-8453, Illinois Individual Income Tax Electronic Filing Declaration, and the supporting documents at their site for a three-year period.  We will periodically request selected IL-8453 forms and supporting documents for inspection. However, we ask that you do not send any IL‑8453 forms to the Illinois Department of Revenue unless requested.

ACH credit

ACH credit is an electronic payment method that you may use to pay tax liabilities.  Using this payment method requires you to directly instruct your financial institution to transfer funds from your bank account to the Department's bank account.  This method is only available for banks located in the United States.  The State of Illinois does not support international ACH transactions. 
If you need any addition information regarding ACH credit, please visit the ACH credit page.


IDOR will only directly deposit refunds into accounts located within the United States. If a taxpayer's financial institution is located outside the United States, a paper check will be issued instead of directly depositing their refund. 
In addition, first time filers of returns are not allowed direct deposit refunds.  They will be automatically issued a paper check refund.


IDOR will only directly debit a taxpayer's account if the financial institution is located within the United States. If a taxpayer's financial institution account is funded by international funds or is located outside the United States, they must choose another payment option.