PIN or Personal Identification Number - Tax Return Electronic Signature
This might be an understatement, but the Personal Identification Number (PIN) system implemented by the IRS is confusing and difficult to understand by most taxpayers.
When you efile your 2012 Tax Return, you will need to provide one of the three following choices: your 2011 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount, your 2011 self-selected PIN, or a new 2012 temporary Electronic Filing PIN.
But which one should you use? Match yourself to one of the cases below and let us help you decide:
Case 1: You Filed a 2011 Tax Return but Do Not Have Access to a Copy
Don't worry, you do not need a copy of your 2011 Tax Return to efile a 2012 Tax Return. You don't need to know your 2011 AGI or your 2011 PIN to get a new 2012 temporary Electronic Filing PIN from the IRS.
Most taxpayers qualify for a new 2012 PIN. If you filed a 2011 Tax Return (Form 1040, Form 1040-A, or Form 1040-EZ) and your return was accepted by December 11, 2012, you are generally eligible to get a 2012 Electronic Filing PIN.
You may instantly get a new PIN from the IRS here: http://www.efile.com/my-efile-pin
All you will need to do is enter several easily remembered pieces of information from your 2011 Tax Return:
- Full Name
- Social Security Number (or Taxpayer Identification Number)
- Date of Birth
- Filing Status
- Mailing Address
Get your 2012 PIN here: Get your Electronic Filing PIN online or call the IRS at 866-704-7388 for PIN help.
Case 2: You Filed a 2011 Tax Return and You Have a Copy
If you have a copy of your 2011 Tax Return, you may want to use your 2011 AGI to efile your 2012 Tax Return. Learn more about using your 2011 Adjusted Gross Income.
Alternatively, and if you remember it, you can use your 2011 self-selected PIN, but it will not normally show up on tax return copies and there is no way to retrieve it from the IRS.
Even if you have a copy of your 2011 Tax Return, you may still wish to use a new 2012 Electronic Filing PIN to efile. If so, you may get a PIN here.
Case 3: You Did Not File a 2011 Tax Return
During the efile process on efile.com, you will be asked, "Did you file a tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last year?" If you did not file a 2011 Tax Return with the IRS, simply answer "No".
You will be directed to a screen where you can choose a self-select PIN to use for efiling. Save this PIN because you can use it to efile next year.
Instructions on How to Correctly Enter Your 2011 PIN on Your 2012 Tax Return on efile.com
If you efiled or filed a 2011 Tax Return, then you can get a PIN for efiling your 2012 Tax Return here: http://www.efile.com/my-efile-pin
Important Notice: Do not enter last year's PIN, as this will cause your return to be rejected for the same reason.
This is the sample screen showing where you will get your PIN.
After you have your PIN, sign in to your efile.com tax return.
- Click the "Results" link located on the left menu.
- On the next screen you will see your refund/balance due amount. Click "Continue".
- Your return will build. When it is finished click "Continue". (Click the "View Return" button if you want to view/print your forms).
- The next screen is the "Efile Selection" screen. Make sure there is a green check mark beside the form(s) you want to efile. Click "Continue".
- There will be no extra charge if you correct your PIN and efile or re-submit your tax return again. Click "Continue".
- On the next screen select if you want to have your tax refund mailed or direct deposited. Click "Continue".
- You will come to a screen where you will be asked if you filed a tax return last year.
- You must have filed a 2011 Tax Return to use a PIN, so select "Yes". You will be directed to a screen labeled "Provide Identifying Information".
- If you have an old 2011 PIN, select "Your 2011 PIN" and enter your PIN.
- If you got a new 2012 PIN from the IRS, select "A 2012 IRS Electronic Filing PIN" and enter your new PIN.
- Click "Continue". The next screen will ask you to create a PIN to sign your return and which you can use next year to efile your return. This can be any five numbers you choose except 00000. This PIN does not have to be the same as the PIN you previously entered.
- Click "Continue" and your return will build. On the next screen enter the security code listed on the screen and click the "E-file" button to send your return.
- You will receive an email confirming that your return has been filed. You should hear back from the IRS in 24 - 48 hours concerning the status of your return. If you did not receive an email, make sure you do not have spam filter blocking it.
- Sample screen showing how to enter your PIN on your 2012 Tax Return on efile.com if your filing status is Single, Married Filing Separately, or Head of Household.
- Sample screen showing how to enter your PINs on your 2012 Tax Return on efile.com if your filing status is Married Filing Jointly.
This is the screen if you filed or efiled a 2011 Tax Return:
- This is the screen if you did not file or efile a 2011 Tax Return:
- Common PIN related IRS error or rection codes:
- These instructions will tell you how to correct tax return Error 679 or 0679, 0680, IND-031, or IND-032, among others:
- Error Code: IND-031 or 0679: The first or primary taxpayer listed on the efile.com tax return
- Error Code: IND-032 or 0680: The spouse on a married efiling jointly tax return return
- Please check and verify the following:
- Primary Prior Year PIN (Personal Identification Number)
- Primary Electronic Filing PIN
- Primary Prior Year AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) must match the IRS eFile database.
- The amount you entered for your prior year's adjusted gross income (AGI) or your Prior Year PIN does not match what the IRS has in its records.
- This rejection occurs because the IRS is unable to verify your (or your spouse's, if filing jointly) identity for efiling.
- Recommended efile.com solution: Get a new efiling PIN from the IRS and use it instead.
2011 Electronic Filing PIN Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Get an Electronic Filing PIN?
Anyone who filed a 2011 Tax Return (on paper or electronically) that was accepted by December 11, 2012, is eligible to get a new Electronic Filing PIN.
Once I Have My New PIN, Where Do I Enter It?
Once you have your PIN, you can enter it into your efile.com prepared tax return on the page labeled "Provide Identifying Information".
If I Have a New 2012 PIN, Do I Need to Enter My 2011 PIN or 2011 AGI?
No, you will not need to enter your 2011 AGI or 2011 PIN once you have a new 2012 Electronic Filing PIN.
PIN In-frequently Asked Questions (Just in Case You Want to Know)
Do I Need Form 8453? (efile.com will let you know if you do)
Most taxpayers do not have to file Form 8453. Only those people filing certain forms will need to use Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return. The efile.com software will generate this form if you need it.
What Is a Practitioner PIN? (something you don't need on efile.com)
Online filers, including customers of efile.com, do not need to worry about a Practitioner PIN. A Practitioner PIN is only used when a taxpayer physically visits an authorized tax practitioner and signs Form 8879, IRS efile Signature Authorization, which authorizes the practitioner to efile for the taxpayer. Again, you do not need this PIN when preparing your taxes on efile.com.
Most Common IRS Federal Reject Codes
efile IRS Tax Return Reject Code IND-031 and IND-032 = PIN Not Accepted
Code IND-031 or 0679 = Unable to verify the identity (PIN) of the FIRST TAXPAYER on the return.
Code IND-032 or 0680 = Unable to verify the SPOUSE on a joint return
How to make this correction:
- Get your IRS PIN here: http://www.efile.com/my-efile-pin/ or call 1.866.744.7388
- Once you have your PIN, sign in to efile.com and click on "RESULTS" on the lower left side
- Continue, and make sure you enter correctly whether you filed a return last year or not (regardless where you filed or efiled it; if the IRS has a return from you on file enter with "Yes")
- Now enter the PIN or select to enter last year's AGI
- Continue and select a new PIN for this years (2012) tax return. Keep this PIN stored safely for next year.
If you keep getting rejected:
- If you're entering "0" as your AGI because you didn't file or efile a 2011 return, first try the efiling PIN solution mentioned above.
- If you are able to get a PIN from the IRS, then you did file a 2011 return. Enter your PIN per the instructions listed above.
- If you are unable to get your PIN, contact the IRS at 1.800.829.1040 for further instructions. If you are certain that you're entering the correct 2011 AGI, try the efiling PIN solution above. And if that still doesn't work, try entering an AGI of "0". This often works for customers who filed a very late 2011 return, or if the IRS is still processing your 2011 tax year return.
- Once your 2012 tax return has been efiled and processed successfully with the IRS, come back to efile.com next year and your AGI will automatically transfer to your new tax return. You won't have to worry about PINs and AGIs ever again as long as you prepare and efile with efile.com.