“Why should we look to the past in order to prepare for the future? Because there is nowhere else to look.”
Although this is a quote by a historian who probably knew little about filing a tax return, it is oddly relatable when trying to locate a prior year AGI. Here’s why. In order to find your AGI (otherwise known as adjusted gross income), you’ll need to take a look at the prior year’s tax documents. I’ve pinpointed three easy ways to find your prior year AGI without having to dig too deep into the past. Let’s take a look.
1. Your tax return
If you’re the type of person who has a knack for keeping track of important paperwork, then you probably know where to find your tax return from last year. Once you find it, you’ll be able to find your AGI amount for the year on line 37 of Form 1040, as you’ll see below.
*Did you file a 1040EZ last year? Your AGI will be on line 4. On a 1040a, your AGI will be on line 21.
If you can’t find your tax return from that year, it doesn’t mean you’re unorganized. It could just mean that you e-filed your tax return that year instead of printing out a copy to mail to the IRS. This brings me to your second option.
2. A transcript from the IRS
This takes a little longer but is completely free. If you click the button below, you’ll be directed right to the IRS website where you can request a transcript.
Here’s a list of some information you’ll want to have handy:
- your SSN
- your DOB
- your address currently on file with the IRS
- your zip code currently on file with the IRS
3. Your tax preparer
Did you prepare your tax return with us within the past three years? If you did, then you can log into your account with the username and password you created. Once you’re logged in, you’ll still have access to your printable tax return which will list your AGI on line 37 of the 1040. If you have any trouble logging in, give our tax team a call and we’ll help you get the information you need.
Didn’t file last year?
It happens. At least you’re catching up this year, right? If you didn’t file for the year you need to find your AGI for, enter zero. You’ll also need to do this if you paper filed instead of filing electronically.
Once you find your AGI one way or another, you’ll be able to get down to business can prepare your tax return. You can create an account with PriorTax and file all of your returns dating back to 2005.