Taxes are every new adult’s worst nightmare, especially if you love procrastinating and always miss the deadlines! Kinda makes you think, do tax preparers make good money?
Taxes are confusing to file and return; they are confusing to calculate and to keep all the previous year’s tax returns safely is just another hassle as it takes so much of your space and time
However, whether you like it or not, you have to do your taxes on time.
But let us assume the worst and say that you lost your last year’s AGI or say you entered your AGI wrong!
Then what? What do you?
Well, do not freak out and chill…
…because I have got your back! And all the answers to your tax questions are coming.
So, worry not!
First, you need to know what’s AGI and its purpose.
Adjusted Gross Income AGI
Adjusted gross income (AGI) is a measure of income calculated from your gross income and used to determine how much of your income is taxable.
In addition to AGI, you should also know the terms: gross income and IRS.
Gross income is simply the sum of all the money an individual earns in a year.
Internal Revenue Service or IRS for short is responsible for all the revenue collection of the United States federal government.
Now that you are well aware of what AGI is, we move on to the question you have asked: Can you file your taxes without your AGI from last year?
Can you file your taxes without your AGI from last year?
Well now here is the thing, yes, you can file your taxes without your AGI from last year but only if you mail in your return to the IRS.
But let’s say you can’t mail your return, then what?
In this case, you will have to file and for filing, you will need to have a look at your transcript.
Let’s say, you don’t have your transcript, then don’t freak out because taxpayers who cannot get a copy of a prior-year return may order a tax transcript from the IRS.
So there is a way…more like a whole process after which you can get your transcript!
How to get your transcript?
Firstly you should know what you need before you get in the process of getting your transcript.
What You Need
To register for a transcript, you need:
- Your SSN, date of birth, filing status, and mailing address from the latest tax return,
- The access to your email account,
- your account number from a credit card, mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit or car loan, and
- A mobile phone with your name on the account.
After you have collected all the data that has been mentioned, you are good to go and in the process of getting your transcript!
What You Get
- All transcript types are available online
- View, print, or download your transcript
- A username and password to return later
A transcript summarizes return information and includes AGI.
They are free and available for the most current tax year after the IRS has processed the return. People can also get them for the past three years.
Taxpayers can get two types of transcripts from the IRS:
Tax Return Transcript:
A return transcript shows most line items on a tax return as originally filed.
People who need their adjusted gross income for filing purposes will select this type of transcript and look for “adjusted gross income.”
Tax Account Transcript:
This type of transcript shows adjustments or amendments made by taxpayers or by the IRS to a filed return.
Ways you can get your transcript:
Use the ‘Get Transcript’ bait click available on IRS.gov.
There is a link to it under the red TOOLS bar on the front page.
Those who use it must authenticate their identity using the Secure Access process.
Order by phone:
The number is 800-908-9946.
Order by mail:
These forms are available on the Forms & Pubs page on IRS.gov.
Those who need an actual copy of a tax return can get one for the current tax year and as far back as six years.
However, then the fee per copy is $50.
Complete and mail Form 4506 to request a copy of a tax return. Mail the request to the appropriate IRS office listed on the form.
NOTE: People who live in a federally declared disaster area can get a free copy.
Delivery times for online and phone orders typically take five to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request.
You should allow 30 days to receive a transcript ordered by mail and 75 days for copies of your tax return.
After you have your transcript, you can easily file your taxes with your AGI from last year.
But where is the AGI located?
Here to help again, gladly!
Where is your AGI located on the prior year’s return?
Your last year’s adjusted gross income (AGI) is the amount from your last year’s return, filed and accepted by the IRS.
Based on the form you filled, you can find your AGI accordingly:
Form 1040, Line 38
Form 1040A, Line 21
Form 1040EZ, Line 4
Other ways to find AGI:
Furthermore, there are several ways to find your prior-year AGI:
You should always retain a copy of your tax return.
If you used a paid preparer last year, you may obtain a copy of last year’s tax return from that preparer
If you are using the same tax preparation software that you used last year, then luckily, that software will likely have your prior-year tax return for you to access.
If you are not using the same tax preparation software as last year, then you may be able to access your prior-year software and view an electronic copy of your prior-year return.
If you are a first-time filer over the age of 16 enter zero as your AGI.
If you have an Identity Protection (IP) PIN, you should enter it when prompted by your software. It will serve to verify your identity.
Where do you not look for your previous year AGI?
Even if you believe you entered the correct AGI, please make sure nothing has been overlooked.
There are a couple of numbers that look very similar to an AGI but may cause your return to be rejected.
Do not use your W-2 or 1099 to look for your AGI. The W-2 or 1099 does not include all the income or deductions that make up your AGI.
Also, do not use your AGI from an amended return.
Always use the AGI from your originally filed return, even if that return was technically incorrect.
What do you put for my AGI if you did not file last year?
If you did not file a tax return in the previous year with the IRS, just tell IRS you did not file last year when we ask you.
To tell them, select the option “NO” which indicates you did not file a return for the previous year.
If your prior years AGI amount is zero, then you should enter the number zero.
But if you have already entered a number for your AGI, manually enter the number zero instead.
NOTE: If you are a first-time over the age of 16 enter zero as your AGI.
What if your AGI was negative?
You will need to enter your AGI as a negative number.
Can you file taxes without AGI?
AGI is just a calculated number on your tax return.
You really cannot file without AGI unless you are filing a tax return where you are declaring yourself as someone with no income or losses.
So, a source of income is required to calculate your AGI and file tax returns.
What else information will you be required to enter?
Other than your AGI number, you may be required to create a current year filing PIN.
This is a five-digit number, not beginning with a 0, which you will use to file your return next year.
If you continue to use the same Username, our program will pull the PIN forward into your return for you.
However, the IRS may not accept the return even if the correct PIN or AGI amount has been entered. This signifies that the return must be printed and mailed to the correct agency (state, federal, or both).
The IRS filing addresses can be found on their respective IRS website.
What if you entered the wrong AGI and have submitted the return already?
The IRS uses your prior year AGI to verify your identity and allow you to e-file your return.
If what you entered does not match what the IRS has on file for you, then the IRS will reject your return.
After your return is rejected, you can enter the correct AGI and submit it again.
If the IRS knows the correct number, they will send you a letter pointing out your mistake.
They will then either adjust your refund automatically or, if you owe them money, tell you how much you owe.
What if you have re-entered your AGI and re-submitted your return then has your return been filed?
You should receive an email confirmation when your return has been filed.
If you have not received a confirmation email, you can check the status of your return.
How do I get my original AGI if I cannot locate my last year’s return?
To get back your original AGI from your previous year’s tax return you may do one of the following:
Contact the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040
Complete Form 4506-T Transcript of Electronic Filing at no cost
Complete Form 4506 Copy of Income-tax Return
What if your spouse and you used the status of married filing jointly last year but this year are using different status (es)? Then do you split the combined AGI?
In this scenario, if you filed a joint return last year, each spouse should enter the combined AGI from last year’s joint return even if you are filing separately this year.
You do not need to split this amount and enter half for your spouse and half for you.
If you are filing a joint return this year, with the same spouse, you will enter the combined AGI from your joint return for each taxpayer individually.
If your spouse and you are newlyweds. What AGI should you both enter?
In this case, you are eligible to file using a different filing status than you have used previously.
So first, you determine the correct filing status for you and your spouse through the IRS website.
Then, if you are filing jointly and only one spouse filed last year, enter the prior year AGI for that spouse and the number zero for the spouse who has never filed before.
Though, if you are filing a joint return this year, you must enter the prior-year AGI amount from both individual prior year returns.
What if your spouse and you used different filing status (es) last year, but this year are filing using the status married filing jointly? Then what do you do?
For this, if you are filing using the status married filing jointly this year but you had filed with the status married filing separately, single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) last year, whichever option applies, then enter each spouse’s individual AGI from your prior year returns.
NOTE: If you and your spouse filed jointly last year, your spouse’s AGI will be the same as yours. If your spouse had a different AGI, you would need his or her information to get their AGI from the IRS.
What do I use for my original AGI if I did not file a return with the IRS last year?
If you have never filed before, or if you filed last year using an ITIN and you have a Social Security Number this year, then choose the option “I am a first-time filer” or the option that says “I did NOT file a tax return on the prior year”.
If you are married filing jointly and only one spouse filed last year, enter the prior year AGI for that spouse and the number zero for the spouse who has never filed before.