New IRS requirements make ‘old’ tax returns even more valuable

October 26, 2016 : Annelise Wiens
paperwork

Filing a tax return, and even receiving a tax refund, doesn’t mean taxpayers can “close the books” on that return. They might need information from old tax returns in the future, for instance when applying for a student loan or refinancing a mortgage. And due to new IRS requirements, taxpayers will now need information from their previous tax year to file a tax return electronically.

In the past, taxpayers could request an electronic filing PIN from the IRS and use it to verify their identity and file a tax return electronically, known as e-filing. Now, they need to use either the previous year’s adjusted gross income (AGI) or their previous year’s self-select PIN plus their date of birth to verify their identity. Taxpayers will find their AGI on line 4 on the 1040-EZ, line 21 on the 1040-A or line 37 of the 1040. The prior year’s self-select PIN should be with their tax records. As before, taxpayers will need to create a new self-select PIN this year.

Taxpayers who used H&R Block online or desktop software to file their 2015 tax return will have their AGI automatically carried forward when they file their 2016 tax return. Taxpayers who filed with an H&R Block tax professional can access their returns on their MyBlock account or MyBlock app.

Otherwise, taxpayers can get their AGI information from a previous year using the IRS “get transcript” tool. If they need a copy of their full return, they must file form 4506 and pay $50 per return requested.

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Annelise Wiens

Annelise Wiens

Former Editor and Producer

As the former newsroom editor, Annelise Wiens was interested in more than just tax and industry news, but the stories of H&R Block's 80,000 associates, their communities and H&R Block's world headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. Wiens joined H&R Block in 2014 from a public relations agency, where she worked with clients in the financial services industry. Before that, she worked as a communicator for a senior member of the United States House of Representatives. She graduated from Biola University in La Mirada, CA with a bachelor's degree in history.

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