Search Help Topics:

When you click the Filing tab, onscreen prompts will take you through the process to electronically file (e-file) your return. Use the following steps to ensure your return is filed correctly.

Step 1: Review Your Return

Before beginning the e-file process, print your return and review your entries. The most common reasons for e-file rejections include misspelled names of taxpayers or dependents, as well as transposed numbers in birth dates, social security numbers, and employer identification numbers.

Some things to check when reviewing your return:

  • Names, birth dates, and SSNs entered in Basic Info
  • Information entered on Forms W-2 and 1099
  • Line entries for each form in the return


After reviewing your return, gather the following information before starting the filing process:

If you intend to e-file your state return, complete the State Q&A and review your state return before starting the e-file steps. Some states require that the state return be electronically filed with the federal return.

Step 2: Begin the Electronic Filing Process

When you are ready to submit your e-file, click the Filing tab, then click E-File My Return on the main filing screen.

Take care to select the radio button for the Federal and State(s) option if this is your intention. You can e-file more than one state at a time. When e-filing multiple state returns, check the box next to each state you wish to e-file. 

Complete the interview questions that follow. When you reach the signature screens, proceed to Step 3 below. 

Step 3: Sign Your Return

The IRS requires all taxpayers filing electronically to "sign" their return using the Self-Select PIN method. The only other option is to paper file your return. 

To e-file using the Self-Select PIN method, you will create a 5-digit PIN of your choice to sign your return. This "signature" must be authenticated using one of the following three numbers: 

  • Prior year adjusted gross income (AGI) 
  • Prior year Self-Select PIN (the 5-digit Self-Select PIN you created to e-file last year) 
  • Current Year Electronic Filing PIN obtained from the IRS for this year 

The IRS requires one of these numbers to verify your identity. 

If you have access to last year's return, select that option on the Prior Year Information screen. Next, enter the AGI from that return, or enter the PIN you used to file last year (if you filed with TaxACT, you can obtain this number using TaxACT PIN Retrieval). 

If you do not have access to last year's return, you can request an IRS-issued electronic filing PIN. Go to Electronic Filing PIN Request to get a PIN. In the Filing step, select I do NOT have access to my 2012 tax return on the Prior Year Information and enter your IRS Issued Electronic Filing PIN.

If you have never filed a federal tax return, or if you did not file a return last year, select I am a first-time filer or I did NOT file a 2012 tax return on the Prior Year Information screen.

See AGI, Self Select PIN, and Electronic Signature for more information and answers to common questions.

Step 4: Submit Your Return

After signing your return, complete the remaining interview questions.

In order to successfully submit your return, you MUST complete ALL of the electronic filing steps. Your electronically filed return has not been submitted until you reach the screen with the Submit E-File button (see below).

After clicking the Submit E-file button, the next screen should indicate that the return was successfully submitted.

If you do not receive a screen indicating that your submission was successful, your return has not been transmitted to the IRS. Click on the Filing tab again and repeat the e-file steps to ensure that your return has been submitted.

If your return was successfully submitted, it has been received by TaxACT and transmitted to the IRS. This does not mean your return was accepted by the IRS. You must still monitor the status of your return until you receive a notice indicating that your return has been accepted by the IRS.

It is the taxpayer's responsibility to ensure that the return has been successfully filed. You can check the status of your electronically filed return(s) at any time by going to Electronic Filing Status.

Related Links:

Was this helpful to you?