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Your Guide to E-Filing Taxes

Your Guide to e-filing taxes

The IRS started accepting tax returns on January 23, but for some people, filing their taxes hasn’t been easy this year. To file your taxes electronically, the Internal Revenue Service requires you to sign and validate your return by entering your prior-year Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or your prior-year Self-Select PIN. If you don’t have your AGI or Self-Select PIN from last year, it may be more difficult for you to e-file.

In the past, you may have been able to request a pin through the IRS online, but that is no longer an option. For the 2016 tax year, filers without their prior year PIN will need to use their AGI. Filers should either locate their 2015 tax year documents or request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.

How do I request a Tax Return Transcript?

If you do not have a copy of your 2015 tax return, you may use a Get Transcript tool from the IRS to access a Tax Return Transcript that shows your AGI. Be sure to select the Tax Return Transcript and use only the “Adjusted Gross Income” line entry when requesting your transcript. You can use Get Transcript to access your 2015 tax return online or by mail. To get your transcript online, you will need to pass the Secure Access identity verification process. If you can’t pass the Secure Access process, you will need to request your transcript by mail via the online mail option or by calling 800.908.9946. Transcripts are delivered by mail five to 10 business days after they are requested.

What information do I need to use Get Transcript?

The following information is needed to pass the Secure Access identity verification process from Get Transcript:

  1. A readily available email address
  2. Your Social Security number
  3. Your filing status and address from your last-filed tax return
  4. Access to certain account numbers for one of the following:
    • A credit card
    • A home mortgage loan
    • A home equity (second mortgage) loan
    • A home equity line of credit (HELOC)
    • A car loan
  5. A readily available mobile phone. Only US-based mobile phones may be used. Your name must be associated with the mobile phone account. Landlines, Skype, Google voice or similar virtual phones, as well as phones associated with pay-as-you-go plans, cannot be used.
  6. If you have a “credit freeze” on your credit records through Equifax, it must be temporarily lifted before you can successfully complete this process.

Because this process involved verification using financial records, there may be a “soft notice” placed on your credit report. This notice does not affect your credit score. If at any point, you cannot validate your identity – for example, you cannot provide financial verification information or you lack access to a mobile phone – you may use Get Transcript by Mail.

Get Transcript by Mail allows you to go online and select a return or account transcript type to be mailed to your address of record and delivered within five to 10 days. You may also call 1-800-908-9946 to order these transcripts by phone.