your tax return, preparation, e-filing, security — October 10, 2016

Filed an extension? Have your 2014 AGI on hand

by Susannah McQuitty

A taxpayer files taxes over coffee, cookies and fruit.

October 17 is next Monday, which means it’s time to get busy and make that deadline if you filed a tax extension! But before hopping on your mobile device or computer to finish filing your 2015 tax return, there’s one more thing you should know: you may need the adjusted gross income (AGI) amount from your 2014 tax return to file online.

Yeah, 2014. Two years ago. Why would you need something that “old?”

The IRS is phasing out the Electronic Filing PIN, because it was getting too easy for identity thieves to file fake returns (there’s always that one person … or group of people, I suppose). Filing with your prior year AGI is a lot safer, so that’s the new norm. If you got an e-file PIN earlier this year, this is the last time you get to use one.

Whether you use your last e-file PIN or your prior-year AGI, you’ll also be asked for your birthday to prove your identity (which goes for married couples filing jointly, too). At the end of the filing process, you’re still required to electronically sign your return with a five-digit, self-selected (i.e. you get to make it up) personal identification number (PIN), not to be confused with an e-file PIN.

If you used last year, getting your 2014 AGI is a breeze, because we automatically pull up prior-year AGI for returning customers. If you’re new to and don’t remember your AGI, no problem: we can point you in the right direction to find it.

How to find your 2014 AGI

On 2014 tax returns, you can find AGI in 3 different places, depending on which form you used:

  • Line 37 of Form 1040
  • Line 21 on Form 1040A
  • Line 4 on Form 1040EZ

If you don’t have a copy of your 2014 tax return handy, you can get your tax return transcript online through the IRS or order one to arrive by mail – just know you’d be cutting it pretty close if you go the mail route, since the process may take five to 10 calendar days.

Keep your tax records handy from here on out

The rule of thumb with tax records is to keep a copy of your returns and supporting documents for at least three years. And if you file with, that’s one more thing off your plate. We automatically keep all your tax records on our secure server, so you’ll always have access to your prior-year data.
Going forward, it’s even more important to keep copies of important tax documents as the IRS makes security changes for your protection – which is fine by us!


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