Steps to Submit an Electronic Return

To see the process to electronically file (e-file) your return, click Filing on screen. Do the following steps to ensure your return is filed correctly. It's your responsibility to ensure that the return has been successfully filed.

You can check the e-file status of your return.

Step 1: Review Your Return

Before beginning the e-file process, print your return and look over your entries. The most common reasons for e-file rejections include misspelled taxpayer or dependent names and transposed numbers in a birth date, Social Security Number (SSN), or Employer Identification Number (EIN).

When reviewing your return, check the following:

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

What you'll need before filing:

After reviewing your return, gather the following 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 the state return to be e-filed with the federal return.

Step 2: Begin the e-filing process.

When you're ready to submit your return, click Filing, then click E-File on the main filing screen.

On the next screen, check Federal and the applicable state or states. You can e-file more than one state at a time. When e-filing multiple state returns, check each state you want to e-file.

Complete the interview questions and go to the next step.

Step 3: Sign Your Return.

The IRS requires all taxpayers e-filing to include an electronic signature. The only other option is to paper-file your return.

Your electronic signature verifies your identity and authorizes your information. You must provide one of the following:

  • Prior-year AGI amount
  • Prior-year 2019 Self-Select PIN (the 5-digit Self-Select PIN you created to e-file last year)
  • In the filing steps, you'll reach a screen titled E- Filing - Prior-Year Information. If you have last year's tax return, choose that option. Next, enter the AGI from that return or enter the PIN you used to file last year.

    The IRS will reject your return if your AGI or self-select PIN is incorrect.

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

    Step 4: Submit Your Return.

    After signing your return, complete the remaining interview questions. Complete all of the e-filing steps. Your e-filed return hasn't been submitted until you reach the screen with the Submit E-File button. The next screen should indicate that the return was successfully submitted.

    If you see that screen, your return has been received by TaxAct and transmitted to the IRS. That doesn't mean your return was accepted by the IRS. You must still monitor the status of your return

    If you don't see a screen indicating that filing has been successful, your return has not been transmitted to the IRS. Click Filing on the left again to repeat the e-file steps.

    Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the document at the time it is accessed.