Your Prior Year Adjusted Gross Income or AGI
Your Prior-Year AGI is the Adjusted Gross Income (or AGI) on last year's tax return (2018). The IRS uses your prior-year AGI to verify your identity so you can e-File your 2019 Tax Return. You only need a prior-year AGI if you are e-filing your tax return to the IRS. An incorrect AGI will result in a tax return rejection by the IRS and/or State Tax Agency.
Where to Find Your 2018 Tax Return AGI
Here are three ways to locate your 2018 AGI:
1) If you e-filed your 2018 Tax Return on eFile.com, sign into your eFile.com account and download/view your PDF tax return file from the My Account page. Find your prior-year AGI on line 7 of your Form 1040.
2) If you filed elsewhere and you do have a copy of your 2018 Tax Return, identify the exact form/line number for your AGI:
- On Line 7 of IRS Form 1040 or
- On Line 35 of IRS Form 1040NR
3) If you did NOT e-file your 2018 Tax Return on eFile.com and you don't have a copy of your 2018 1040 Form, click Get A Transcript Online now. This is a free service provide by the IRS. Your prior year AGI will be on the transcript.
Important note: If you filed your 2018 Tax Return later in 2019 (after October), then the IRS might not have updated their systems with the 2018 AGI. Therefore, you will need to enter "0" as your prior-year AGI when you e-file your 2019 Tax Return (see instructions below for details).
Another note: Keep in mind that if you filed a tax amendment for 2018 and as a result your Adjusted Gross Income changed, you need to use that new AGI amount and not the AGI amount on your originally filed 2018 Tax Return.
Once your 2019 Tax Return return is accepted by the IRS via eFile.com in 2020, we suggest you come back the year later to prepare and eFile your 2020 Tax Return and your 2019 AGI will be in your eFile.com account.
How To Enter Your 2018 Adjusted Gross Income on eFile.com
Important: The image below is for informational purposes only. If you are not filing your tax return with the Married Filing Jointly filing status, you'll only see one AGI box for yourself.
Once you have your 2018 AGI, sign into your tax return and follow the instructions below:
1) Click File on the left gray menu box.
2) You will see your refund/balance due amount. Click Continue.
3) Your return will be completed and when it is finished, click Continue. Click View Return if you want to view/print your forms. This is highly recommended so that you can see the final return that you submit to the IRS and also to make sure that you haven't entered anything incorrectly.
4) Next is the E-filing Your Return screen. Make sure you select the return(s) you want to efile and click Continue.
5) Select if you want to have your refund mailed or deposited and click Continue.
6) You will be asked if you (or your spouse, if your filing status is Married Filing Jointly) filed a tax return last year. Select Yes and click Continue. If you did not efile or file a tax return last year, answer No. We will automatically enter 0 as the number to verify your identity with the IRS (0 is your AGI for 2018 since you did not have any income that year or you did not file a return).
7) If you select Yes for filing a tax return last year, the next screen is To E-file, You Must Identify Yourself to the IRS. Enter your AGI in the box next to the Enter last year's AGI line. If you are filing a joint tax return, enter the same AGI for you and your spouse (if you or your spouse did not file or efile a tax return last year, enter 0 in the appropriate AGI field). Once you have entered your AGI(s), click Continue. (Note: the image below is for informational purposes only and is not interactive. If you are not filing a Married Filing Jointly tax return, you'll only see one AGI box for yourself) If you cannot locate your Prior Year AGI, you will need to print your return, sign it, and mail it to the IRS so it can be filed. There is no need for IRS acceptance when you mail in your return since the AGI is not needed to establish your identity.
8) Identify Protection (IP) PIN - You are asked if you (and/or your spouse) received an Identity Protection PIN from the IRS. This 6-digit PIN is assigned to a victim of identity theft and is sent to you in a letter the IRS via certified mail. Click Yes if you received one and enter the IP PIN on the next screen, otherwise click No.
9) Personal Identification Electronic Signature PIN - You are asked to create any 5-digit PIN to electronically sign your return. This can be any five numbers you choose except 00000 or 12345 or all the same digits such as 55555.
10) Click Continue and on the next screen, check the I'm not a robot box and click the E-file to send your return.
You are done! You will receive an email confirming that your return has been accepted by the IRS. You should hear back from the IRS in 24 - 48 hours concerning the status of your return. If you do not receive an email, make sure you do not have a spam filter blocking it. If your return is rejected, don't worry, you can sign into your account and see the reason why the IRS rejected it with step-by-step instructions to correct and resubmit your return.
Important: You can efile your tax return as many times as you need to at no extra charge. Simply correct your AGI and efile or re-submit your tax return again.
To get more help entering your Prior Year AGI, contact an eFile.com Taxpert to receive personal assistance on correcting and re-filing your tax return so the IRS accepts it.
What is a MAGI?
It is the Modified Adjust Gross Income or MAGI. It's also referred to as the household’s adjusted gross income with certain tax deductions added to your income and any tax-exempt interest income. The MAGI is used to determine if a taxpayer qualifies for the following tax benefits:
- Roth IRA contributions.
- Deduct your traditional IRA contributions if you and/or your spouse has a work based retirement plan. You can contribute to a traditional IRA no matter how much money you earn, but you can’t deduct those contributions when you file your tax return if your MAGI exceeds set limits.
- If a taxpayer is eligible for the premium tax credit, which lowers your health insurance premiums for health plans bought via the Health Insurance Marketplace.
- It establishes eligibility for income-based Medicaid.
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