If you e-file using online filing software, you must sign the tax return using the self-select PIN (personal identification number) signature method. The self-select PIN signature method allows taxpayers to electronically sign their individual income tax return by selecting a five-digit PIN.
The PIN is any five numbers (except all zeros) that you choose to enter as your electronic signature. Each taxpayer filing a joint return needs a PIN and each may choose any five numbers. As part of the authentication process, each taxpayer enters their date of birth and either their adjusted gross income (AGI) as shown on their original return for the prior year or their prior year PIN.
If you are unable to access your tax year 2011 return information for electronic signature authentication purposes, IRS will issue a temporary Electronic Filing PIN (EFP) to eligible taxpayers. If an EFP is needed, you can go to the Electronic Filing PIN Request application on the IRS.gov website and follow the instructions provided by the online application to receive your Electronic Filing PIN.
Generally, you may e-file your tax return even if you are required to submit certain paper forms or supporting documents. Use Form 8453 (PDF), U. S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return, to transmit required paper forms or supporting paper documents.
Primary taxpayers under age 16 who have never filed and secondary taxpayers under age 16 who did not file for 2011 are ineligible to use the self-select PIN method to sign. Affected taxpayers may still e-file by using the Practitioner PIN method.
The IRS advises taxpayers to keep a copy of their tax return for their records to assist with electronically signing the next year's e-file return. If you need a copy or a transcript of your return refer to Topic 156 for assistance.
See Self-Select PIN Method for e-file, for more information.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: March 19, 2013