Topic 255 - Self-Select PIN Signature Method

If you e-file using online filing software, you must sign your tax return using the self-select PIN (personal identification number) signature method. The self-select PIN signature method allows taxpayers to sign their individual income tax return electronically by selecting a five-digit PIN. The PIN is any five numbers (except all zeros) that you choose to enter as your electronic signature. If you file a joint return, you will each need to enter a self-select PIN and you may each choose any five numbers.

As part of the authentication process, you will enter your date of birth and either your adjusted gross income (AGI) as shown on your original prior year return or your prior year self-select PIN.

If you are unable to access your tax year 2013 return information for electronic signature authentication purposes, the IRS web application will issue a temporary Electronic Filing PIN (EFP) to eligible taxpayers. If you need an EFP, access the Get Your Electronic Filing PIN application on and follow the instructions provided by the online application to receive it. The EFP is a temporary PIN that changes each tax year. The EFP functions as an alternate authentication if the prior year AGI or prior year self-select PIN information is unavailable. You can input one or all three authenticators but only one has to match.

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 2013 are ineligible to use the self-select PIN method to sign. Affected taxpayers may still e-file by using a paid preparer who uses the Practitioner PIN method.

The IRS advises keeping a copy of your tax return for your records to assist with electronically signing your next year's e-file return. If you need a copy or a transcript of your return, refer to Topic 156 for assistance.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: March 30, 2015