Where is My Refund?   |   October 15 Deadline   |   Why eFile?

2019 Adjusted Gross Income or Prior AGI

Your 2019 AGI is used to validate your identity and to sign your 2020 tax return when you prepare and eFile your return. Here you will find instructions on how to obtain and/or how to correct your 2019 AGI after you have e-Filed a tax return.

2019 AGI Update: Maybe as a result of the coronavirus during 2020, nearly 7 million 2019 Tax Returns have not been processed by the IRS as of 2021.1) This might have resulted in your 2020 tax return rejection, as your 2019 might not be on file with the IRS.

Follow these steps for resolutions to the current 2019 AGI issue.

Your 2019 AGI is used as an identity verification method on your 2020 return, thus you need to match what the IRS has on their system - regardless whether this is right or wrong - in order to get your return accepted.  For example, even though you might have filed a 2019 Return, yet the IRS has not entered this into their system, maybe due to COVID-19, thus you might have to enter 0 - the number zero - as your 2019 AGI on your 2020 return in order to get it accepted.

In order to e-File your 2020 return in 2021, the IRS requires you to provide the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from your previous year's return, or your 2019 return as form of identification or signature. If you filed your 2019 return on e-File.com, your 2019 AGI is ready for you when you prepare and eFile your 2020 tax return. If you DID NOT prepare and e-File your 2019 Tax Return on eFile.com, click here to get your 2019 Adjusted Gross Income.

Tip: use eFile.com in 2021 when you prepare and eFile your 2020 return and your 2020 AGI will be in your account in 2022.

Prior Return
2019 AGI

Your Prior-Year AGI is the Adjusted Gross Income on last year's 2019, tax return. The IRS uses your prior-year AGI to verify your identity when you efile your 2020 Tax Return. You only need a prior-year AGI if you are e-Filing your tax return to the IRS. An incorrect 2019 AGI on your 2020 return will result in a tax return rejection by the IRS and/or State Tax Agency. It is easy to correct your AGI and resubmit your return if this happens.

How to Obtain, Find Your 2019 Tax Return AGI

Follow these detailed instruction how to obtain your 2019 AGI. Keep in mind, you can also obtain and use an IP-PIN (Identity Protection - Personal Identification Number) as an alternative to your 2019 AGI during the tax return e-Filing process.

Here are three ways to locate your 2019 Adjusted Gross Income, AGI: 

1) If you e-Filed your 2019 Tax Return on eFile.com, sign into your eFile.com account and View and/or download your PDF tax return file from the My Account page. Find your prior-year AGI on Line 8b of your 2019 Form 1040

2) If you filed elsewhere and you do have a copy of your 2019 Tax Return, identify the exact form and line number for your AGI: 

  • On Line 8b of IRS Form 1040 or
  • On Line 35 of IRS Form 1040NR

3) If you did NOT eFile your 2019 Tax Return on eFile.com and you don't have a copy of your 2019 1040 Form, you can get a free transcript now from the IRS online. Detailed instructions on how to obtain an IRS transcript or tax return copy. 

Get Return Transcript

This is a free service provide by the IRS and your prior year AGI will be on the transcript listed as ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME. You can then enter it on eFile.com during the checkout and efile process for your 2020 tax return. You can also call this number if you can not get your transcript online:

Note: You can also formally request a copy of your return from the IRS if you did not use eFile.com for the tax year in question as we store returns for eFile.com users for 7 years.

Important note: If you efiled (or filed) your 2019 Tax Return later in 2020 (after September), then the IRS most likely will NOT have an updated 2019 AGI for you in their systems. Therefore, you will need to enter "0" as your prior-year AGI when you efile your 2020 Tax Return (see instructions below for more details)

Another note: Keep in mind that if you filed a tax amendment for 2019 and your Adjusted Gross Income changed as a result, you need to use that new AGI amount instead of the one on your originally filed 2019 Tax Return. 

Once your 2020 Tax Return is accepted by the IRS via eFile.com in 2021, we suggest returning the following year to prepare and eFile your 2021 Tax Return as your 2020 AGI will be in your eFile.com account and you won't have to search for it. 

IP PIN in 2021: In 2021 tax payers can obtain their own Identity Protection PIN or IP-PIN.

How To Enter Your 2019 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 will only see one AGI box for yourself. 

Once you have your 2019 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 is to be submitted to the IRS and 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 to your bank account 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 2019 if you did not or have not yet filed your 2019 return, or you did not have any income that year).

7) If you select Yes for filing a tax return last year, the next screen is To efile, 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 will 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 mailing in your return since the AGI is not needed to establish your identity on a mailed in return.

How to enter prior-year AGI

8) Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) - You are asked if you (and/or your spouse) received an Identity Protection PIN from the IRS. This 6-digit PIN is either assigned by the IRS to a victim of identity theft, or is requested by a taxpayer, and is sent to you in a letter from the IRS via certified mail. Click Yes if you received one and enter the IP PIN on the next screen, otherwise, click No. You can also obtain a new IP-PIN here

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 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 efile to efile 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 as you can sign into your account and see the reason why the IRS rejected it (on the My Return screen) 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 About the PIN?

Lots of PINs are being referred to when efling your return. To help with any confusion you might have, here is an explanation of them all:

1) IP PIN - This stands for Identity Protection PIN and is the IRS assigned (or taxpayer requested) 6 digit PIN to enter when you efile your return. You will ONLY need to enter this PIN if you have received it from the IRS. The IRS will generally send your IP PIN to you in a letter. Or you can obtain your IP PIN online via the IRS website.

2) Electronic Signature PIN - This is a 5 digit number that can be randomly selected by you when you efile your return. You do NOT need to use the same Signature PIN as you used last year. It can be any five numbers you choose except 12345 or all the same digits, such as 55555. On eFile.com, you enter this PIN at the last step of the check out and efile process.

3) Electronic Filing PIN, or eFile PIN - This PIN is no longer needed when you efile your return. The IRS stopped using this PIN with 2018 returns. You now need your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from your previous year's return when you efile your current year return.

What is a MAGI?

MAGI stands for the Modified Adjust Gross Income. It is 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.

1) Source: Ways and Means Committee Report February 2021.