How to Get an e-File PIN

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All e-filed tax returns must be signed using a five-digit Personal Identification Number.
All e-filed tax returns must be signed using a five-digit Personal Identification Number. (Image: Artifacts Images/Photodisc/Getty Images)

E-filing, or filing your federal income taxes electronically, puts your tax return in the hands of the Internal Revenue Service quicker, which means a faster turnaround on your refund. It also eliminates the chance of errors with the use of tax-preparation software. In place of a signature on these forms, all e-filed returns must be signed using a five-digit PIN, or personal identification number, in lieu of a signature.

Using Previous Year's Tax Return

Look at your previous year's return. If you used a PIN to e-file that return, you can use the same PIN for the return you want to file.

If you did not use a PIN to e-file your previous year's return, you can use your adjusted gross income number from that return.

On Form 1040, your AGI is on Line 37. On 1040A, the AGI is found on Line 21. And on Form 1040EZ, the AGI is on Line 4.

Request an e-File PIN

Make sure you are eligible for an e-file pin. To be eligible, you must have filed Form 1040, Form 1040A, Form 1040EZ or Form 1040-SS (PR) the previous tax year. The form also must have been processed prior to November 30 of the last calendar year.

Gather all your identification information. You will need your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. You will also need your complete mailing address as it appeared on your previous year’s tax return.

Use the IRS Electronic Filing Pin Help Tool on the IRS website if you cannot find your previous year’s return.

Call the IRS at 866-704-7388. You will be asked for your Social Security Number, first and last name, date of birth, filing status and mailing address.

Enter your e-file PIN in the “Prior Year PIN/Electronic Filing PIN” field when you file your return.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep a copy of your tax return for your records.
  • If you have any questions about your return, contact the IRS before you file to avoid the long delays associated with filing an incorrect return.

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