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IRS Tax Return Rejection Code IND-031-04

When prepare and eFile your 2020 tax return your 2019 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is used to validate your identity and to sign your return.

Attention:  Maybe as a result of the COVID-19 crisis during 2020, nearly 7 million 2019 Tax Returns have not been processed at the IRS as of February 2021.1) This might be why your 2020 returns got rejected even though you correctly entered your 2019 AGI. More details.

More on how to correct this below under Solution.

The number of 2020 Tax Return rejections by the IRS - not eFile.com - has increased this year over previous years, even though the 2019 Adjusted Gross Income amount was entered correctly by the filing taxpayer. For your information, 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 - right or wrong - in order to get your 2020 return accepted. Follow the steps below to find a solution to get this 2019 AGI issue resolved.

Problem: The IRS has rejected your return - not eFile.com - because the 2019 Adjusted Gross Income - AGI - or self selected PIN you entered as an identification method on your 2020 Tax Return does not match IRS AGI records. Another reason, why your return got rejected could be because you entered the question on whether you filed a 2019 return incorrectly.

The IRS not eFile.com rejects returns, we are here to help you get this resolved.

2019 AGI Solution: Let us help you turn this rejection into an IRS acceptance. Sign into your eFile.com account: click File on the left side menu, and follow the on-screen prompts until you reach the screen asking you if you filed a 2019 tax return last year: select Yes or No. Then, click the green Continue button, and enter the correct 2019 AGI as listed on your 2019 Tax Return in the box on the next screen. In case you have done all this already and you still get rejected please read the following.

Step 1: DO NOT just keep submitting or re-eFiling your 2020 return over and over again with the same 2019 AGI amount expecting different results. After a certain number of attempts the IRS will or might stop accepting your return being e-Filed and/or lock your account.

Step 2: Option 1: Instead of entering your 2019 AGI dollar amount enter 0 - as the number zero - as your 2019 AGI and re-eFile.

Step 2: Option 2: Instead of entering your 2019 AGI dollar amount or 0 as your 2019 AGI,  indicate that you DID NOT file a 2019 return by answering NO when asked if you filed a 2019 return or not.

  • Keep in mind, the Step 2 options as mentioned above, are simply a reflection on what the IRS might have stored in their system at this point in time. They might not be an actual reflection whether you did or did not file a 2019 return. The 2019 AGI is used as an identification method when e-Filing your 2020 return, thus you are identifying yourself with what the IRS system has on file at this point in time.

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

If you cannot locate your prior-year AGI or your return keeps getting rejected over and over by the IRS for any reason or even if you are 100% certain the AGI entered is correct:

Create a free IRS account and obtain a 2019 tax transcript.

Compare what the IRS has on file with what you have.

In 2021 the IRS announced that a Identify Protection Personal Identification Number or IP-PIN serves as an alternative to your prior your AGI. Instructions on how to obtain the IP-PIN.

Attention: If you mail in your 2020 return be prepared that it might be a very long time until it's being processed due to a backlog of paper return processing. Thus, make sure you exhaust first all of the above options to be able to e-File your return.

If your mailing in is your only option, lease PRINT your return(s) from My Account, sign them, and MAIL it to the IRS and/or state tax agency as the AGI is not required for verification on paper returns. Attach copies of your W-2, 1099 etc. with you return. Do NOT mail your state return to the IRS but to the respective state agency.

Make sure to get it postmarked before April 15. Find the correct mailing address to use at https://www.efile.com/where-to-mail-tax-return-form-irs-mailing-address-for-refund/. Contact us with questions: https://www.efile.com/tax-service/contact/efile-contact/

Next year, your AGI will be stored conveniently for you in your eFile.com account under My Account

1) Source: Feb. 20, 2021 Ways and Means Committee Report.