Validating e-filed 1040s

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

The Internal Revenue Service continues to take measures to prevent fraud by validating e-filed 1040s by having taxpayers sign and validate their electronically filed 2021 tax returns. When e-filing a tax return, all taxpayers must submit one of the following information:

  • Your prior year Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
  • Your prior year Self-Select PIN

If you are a returning customer, your tax software will usually automatically populate the information needed to validate your e-signature. This includes both the prior year AGI and Self-Select PIN.

Don’t miss: Why do I need my ID to file taxes

Taxpayers who switched to a new tax software will need to provide this information themselves. There are a few methods to find your prior-year AGI. The preferred method per the IRS is to get a copy of your 2020 tax return. Your AGI is reported on line 11 of the 2020 Form 1040. You can retain a copy of your prior-year return in a few different ways:

  1. If you have your returned prepared, ask your paid preparer for a copy of last year’s return
  2. Get a copy from the tax preparation software you used last year, whether you are using it this year or not
  3. If this is your first time filing and you are over the age of sixteen then enter zero as your AGI
  4. You can establish an account at where you can view your tax account

Additionally, if you have an Identity Protection (IP) Pin, then enter this into the software when prompted. This information will be all you need to validate your e-signature. The prior-year AGI or Self-Select PIN will not be required. The IRS assigns a new identity theft pin each year to applicable taxpayers. If you have been assigned an IP, you cannot electronically file your return without providing your current IP. Taxpayers with identity theft pins should be on the lookout for their new pin to be mailed to them by the Service. Taxpayers can opt into the PIN program using the IRS Tool.

Learn more about how to verify your identity and electronically sign your tax return at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return. If you have any questions, contact a Henry+Horne professional for more information.

Hannah Boyd