your tax return — January 26, 2022

I Don’t Have a Prior-Year AGI—How Do I e-File?

by Susannah Hornback


I Don’t Have a Prior-Year AGI—How Do I e-File?

Listing your prior-year Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is a security requirement for anyone filing their taxes online—unfortunately, some people could have a hard time coming up with that number this year.

Since the IRS is still millions of returns behind, anyone whose 2020 tax return still hasn’t been processed won’t have an AGI to provide on this year’s tax return.

Fortunately, the IRS has provided a simple solution.

Enter $0 as your prior-year AGI if your 2020 tax return still hasn’t been processed

Even if you know you had income in 2020, put $0 in the prior-year AGI box when you file. That way, the IRS can process your tax return without waiting on your 2020 one to officially be accepted.

What if I have an Identity Protection PIN?

An Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) is another identification number that the IRS uses. Only victims of identity theft are automatically assigned IP PINs, but anyone can apply for one through an IRS Online Account.

An IP PIN is a handy fallback this year, too, because if you can't match your prior-year AGI, your IP PIN will cover your ID verification.

Just remember that, if you set up an IP PIN, it has to be included on your tax return for your return to be accepted. (For filers, the IP PIN entry comes after the prior-year AGI page. If you don't have your exact prior-year AGI, put your best estimate, move to the next page, and enter your IP PIN. You'll be good to go!)

Note: You may need to set up an account to get an IP PIN, but the IRS will be transitioning away from facial recognition technology by the end of February 2022.

My 2020 tax return was processed, but I don’t have a copy. How do I find my prior-year AGI?

If you filed with, this is super easy. Just use the same account you filed with last year when you do your 2021 tax return. We have your tax return saved on that account, and we’ll autofill your 2020 AGI.

Don’t have access to that account anymore? Try a password reset, and if all else fails, you can use an IRS Online Account to request a copy of your 2020 tax return. You’ll need to set up an account if you haven’t already.

Note: To use an Online Account, you will need to set up an account for verification. (For returning users, will be required starting in summer 2022.) 

Used the IRS Non-Filers tool last year? Enter $1 for prior-year AGI

The IRS created the Non-Filers tool portal so that those who don’t typically file a tax return could claim COVID-19 relief payments. If you used the tool last year to get payments, enter $1 instead of $0 for your AGI.

What do I put for prior-year AGI if I’ve never filed a tax return before?

Simple: If you’re a first-time filer over the age of 16, enter zero as your AGI.

Simple solutions feel good, don’t they?

And that’s just the beginning when you file with We’re all about taking the headache out of tax filing, especially for things like prior-year AGI.

Ready to get started? Create an account to see what all the hype is about, or log in—and welcome back.


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