Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return

When self-preparing your taxes and filing electronically, you must sign and validate your electronic tax return by entering your prior-year Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or your prior-year Self-Select PIN.

Generally, tax software automatically enters the information for returning customers. If you are using a software product for the first time, you may have to enter the information yourself.

There are several ways to find your prior-year AGI:

Preferred Method

You should always retain a copy of your tax return.  

  • On your 2019 tax return, your AGI is on line 8b of the Form 1040.
  • If you used a paid preparer last year, you might obtain a copy of last year’s tax return from that preparer.
  • If you are using the same tax preparation software that you used last year, that software will likely have your prior-year tax return for you to access.
  • If you’re not using the same tax preparation software as last year, you may be able to access your prior-year software and view an electronic copy of your prior-year return.
  • If you are a first-time filer over the age of 16 enter zero as your AGI.
  • If you have an Identity Protection (IP) PIN (via a CP01A or the Get an IP PIN Tool), you should enter it when prompted by your software. It will serve to verify your identity, instead of your prior-year AGI or prior-year Self Select PIN. Starting mid-January 2021, you can opt into the IP PIN program through the online tool.

Alternative Methods

If you do not have a copy of your tax return, you can get your AGI from one of the IRS self-service tools:

  • Use your online account to immediately view your AGI on the Tax Records tab. To access online account, you must pass the Secure Access identity verification process. 
  • Use Get Transcript by Mail or call 800-908-9946 if you cannot pass Secure Access and need to request a Tax Return Transcript. Please allow 5 to 10 days for delivery. Use only the “Adjusted Gross Income” line entry.