IRS: Previous Year Tax Info Available online

February 17, 2019, 11:00 AM HST
* Updated February 16, 7:40 AM
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The IRS is urging taxpayers who need a copy of their prior-year tax records to complete their 2018 tax return or validate their income to obtain a copy either online or by mail.

This year, some taxpayers—especially those who have switched tax software products—will need the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from their 2017 return to validate their electronic signature for their 2018 return. The IRS recommends always keeping copies of previously-filed tax returns.

How electronic signature and signature validation work:

  • Taxpayers sign their returns electronically by creating a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN), also known as a Self-Select PIN. To validate that e-signature PIN, taxpayers must enter their birthdate and either their AGI from the prior-year return or the prior-year Self-Select PIN.
  • On the 2017 tax return, the AGI is on line 37 of Form 1040; line 21 on Form 1040-A; or line 4 on Form 1040-EZ.
  • Taxpayers may be able to obtain a copy of their 2017 tax return with this information from their previous yearʻs tax preparation software or tax preparer.

They may also obtain a tax transcript online from the IRS:

  1. Use Get Transcript Online to immediately view the AGI;
  2. Taxpayers must pass the Secure Access identity verification process;
  3. Select the “Tax Return Transcript” and use only the “Adjusted Gross Income” line entry.

Use Get Transcript by Mail or call 1-800-908-9946. Taxpayers who fail Secure Access and need to request a Tax Return Transcript can use the mail option.


Taxpayers who have been issued an Identity Protection (IP) PIN should enter it when prompted for an IP PIN by the software. The IP PIN will serve to verify the taxpayer’s identity. If the taxpayer has never filed a tax return before and is age 16, they should enter zero for the AGI.


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