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PIN Rejections While E-Filing

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | Apr 10, 2017

After spending hours of time plugging in numbers on a tax website or using tax-prep software, you are finally ready to submit your return. Before you can submit your return, you are prompted to enter your PIN number. However, a few hours later, you get a notice that your return was rejected because the PIN you entered was incorrect. Even after double-checking, you may be left confused wondering what to do as the tax filing deadline looms.

“Your federal return was rejected because the taxpayer AGI or PIN you entered when you e-filed does not match IRS records.”

Every year, thousands of tax filers get a rejection message like the one above after submitting their tax returns. In order to validate your federal tax return, you must include your prior-year Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or Self-Selected PIN. If you are e-filing with the same company used the prior year, this information may be automatically entered.

If your return was rejected because of an AGI or PIN error, double check to make sure you entered the correct number. If you do not know your AGI, you should be able to obtain it from a copy of your prior-year tax return. On a 2015 tax return, the AGI is on line 37 of the Form 1040, line 21 on the Form 1040-A, or line 4 on the Form 1040-EZ. You may also be able to get an online transcript of your tax return by using the Get Transcript Online service through the IRS website.

If you are filing taxes for the first time and over the age of 16, you can enter 0 as your AGI. If you are filing jointly for the first time, you should enter the AGI for each individual for their prior tax year. If one of the joint filers did not file last year, then they can enter 0 for their AGI.

Identity Protection PINS

If you were a victim of identity theft, you may have been provided with a specific IRS Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN). This is a 6-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers to help prevent fraudulent tax filings. An IP PIN is used to verify a taxpayer's identity in order for the IRS to accept their tax return. You may have an IP PIN if you:

  • Received a CP01A Notice with an IP PIN;
  • Opted-in to receive an IP PIN; or
  • Had your e-file tax return rejected because you didn't include an IP PIN.

If you file your electronic return without your IRS assigned IP PIN, the IRS will reject your return. If you file a paper return without the IP PIN, the IRS may subject your return to additional screening, possibly delaying your refund. If you do not know your IP PIN number or misplaced it, you may be able to retrieve your IP PIN online. To do so, use the IRS' Get an IP PIN online tool to retrieve your IP PIN. If you do not already have an online account, you may be required to register and verify your identity to retrieve your IP PIN.

Other Options

If you are unable to file your taxes because of a PIN rejection, you still have other options. You can contact your tax attorney or other tax professional for advice. You may also be able to contact the IRS directly by calling the telephone numbers listed on the IRS' website. However, these options may be limited the closer you are to tax time.

Finally, you may be able to print out and paper file your tax return. Check the closing time of your local post office to make sure your return is postmarked by April 18, 2016. For San Diegans, the U.S. Postal Service's Margaret L. Sellers Processing & Distribution Center in Carmel Mountain Ranch accepts mail collection until midnight on tax day for last-minute returns. The P&DC is located at 11251 Rancho Carmel Drive, San Diego, CA 92128.

If you have any questions about tax filing, tax strategies, or tax planning, Butterfield Schechter LLP is here to help. We are your San Diego legal resource for tax law, business counseling, and employee benefits. Avoid interest and penalties for unpaid taxes by talking to our experienced tax attorneys. Contact our office today with any questions on how we can help you and your business succeed.

About the Author

Paul D. Woodard

Paul Woodard practices in the areas of Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans, Pension and Profit Sharing Plans, ERISA, ERISA Litigation, Business Law, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), and Estate Planning.


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