As a way of making sure that you are really you, the IRS will ask to verify your identity by entering the AGI (adjusted gross income) you reported on last year's federal tax return. However, if there is a mismatch for any reason, then you will not be able to proceed with completing the e-file process.
What to Do If Your AGI Doesn't Match
If the tax preparation software tells you that the AGI value you entered doesn't match, then try the following:
- Enter the AGI again. It's possible you made a mistake typing in the number or didn't round to the nearest whole dollar correctly. You should be able to re-attempt entering this value about five times before the IRS will not let you try anymore.
- Contact the IRS directly to check what AGI value they have on record. After verifying your identity with the representative, you can request a transcript of the tax return they have on file and get your AGI from this document.
- Print a physical copy of your return and mail it to the IRS directly. This method will bypass the e-file roadblock.
Why Is My AGI Wrong?
There could be many reasons why an AGI value doesn’t align. In most cases, it will be to no fault of yours.
The majority of mismatches are rooted in delays caused by the COVID Pandemic. Because of resource constraints, the IRS has a large backlog of tax returns, and so some taxpayers' AGIs have not yet been entered into their system.
Another reason could be an adjusted return. If you made an update and the AGI was changed, then this could also lead to a mismatch.