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.

Using an electronic filing PIN is no longer an option. 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 2018 tax return, your AGI is on line 7 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. Starting mid-January 2020, you can opt into the IP PIN program through the online tool if you previously filed a return from one of 20 locations: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington.

Alternative Methods

If you do not have a copy of your tax return, you may use a Get Transcript self-help tool to get a Tax Return Transcript showing your AGI.

  • Use Get Transcript Online to immediately view your AGI. You must pass the Secure Access identity verification process. Select the Tax Return Transcript and use only the “Adjusted Gross Income” line entry.
  • 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.