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