When e-file to IRS and to state, what does it mean TurboTax will hold it on Jan 5 and transfer it Jan 17?

In a question such as this one:

https://ttlc.intuit.com/post/show_full/by8FjGkr8r4zCzeJfaacN5/when-is-the-earliest-time-to-file-for-2011-tax-for-irs-and-state

it is said that TurboTax will accept 2011 tax filing on Jan 5, 2012, and transfer it to IRS on Jan 17?  So does that mean before that, all the tax file will stay on TurboTax's server computer, somewhere in its data center, and then on Jan 17, the file will be transferred to IRS and will be removed from the TT's datacenter?  (are there docs that say this?)

Is this the standard filing procedure of TT?  What if I file on Jan 20, then is it the same?  (first stored on TT's computer and then transfer to IRS the next day or the same day?)

Why not directly transfer from our home computer to IRS?  Won't that be safer?

What if e-filing for California, is it the same flow of steps?  (first to TT's datacenter and then to CA tax board later).
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    Your file needs to be encrypted by an authorized e-filer such as Turbotax before it can be transmitted to the IRS servers or the state servers.  It's only a question of how long it stays on our servers before being transmitted.
    • The IRS won't start accepting efiles UNTIL Jan 17.  That's why it has to sit at Turbo Tax servers if you efile Jan 5 - Jan 17.  If you submit your efile starting Jan 5 you will NOT be able to retrieve it to fix anything so you might as well wait until Jan 17.

      Here is the IRS Refund Cycle chart …
      http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p2043.pdf
    • It is standard operating procedure for ALL ERO's to "pool" the returns collected until the IRS "drains" the pool at specific times depending on the time of year. The IRS doesn't want 1 return at a time and will never allow anyone to "send" something to them, they prefer to "take" as it is less risky for them. Most states piggy back on this policy as well.
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