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.
Keep in mind that an extension to file is not an extension to pay. Don't forget to pay your tax bills before the deadline to avoid delayed tax return penalties.
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