DIY Products

DIY Products

Whether you’re an experienced do-it-yourselfer or doing your own taxes for the first time, this is your place to learn and share. Here you’ll find information and resources for using H&R Block’s online and software DIY solutions. You’ll also find links to more information to assist you on your DIY journey.

Valued Pioneer
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-04-2016

A) e-File activation code and submission problems and B) e-File IRS PIN number issuance problem

Dear all,

When overseas and thus not connecting directly to a US based server I get an activation error code '20' relating to the eFile activation code when first installing the HR Block 'Deluxe' software package.  


Tech Support tells me that you cannot EVER activate the e-File functionality using the code provided outside the US and is so prevented resulting in the  error code '20'  notification message.


As it costs me over $100.00 for FedEx or other to the USA and so I would really love, love, love to e-File.


Thus I have three questions:

A) e-File activation and submission problems.

1. If I buy the Deluxe package for the 2017 Tax year early now and 'activate' the e-File function from within the US i.e. California will I several months later when overseas be able to then e-File or will I still be blocked somewhere during the 'submission' process when I go to select e-File at the end of completing the return?


2. Can I use a VPN to connect directly to US land based server and solve both the activation and any potential submission process problems?  Or will the use of the VPN just create other problems preventing the e-File ?


B) e-File IRS PIN number issuance problem.

3. Additionally, in the past I have been unable to e-File even from the USA and after successful e-File activation as I do not have the required IRS PIN number for e-File submission at the end of the tax return process.


Unfortunately the IRS website has not worked according to plan (with or without other unknown complications) resulting in as yet NO PIN number.


Any help on these 3 issues and I will be eternally grateful. I step by step with links for item 3. would be most effective due to the convoluted nature of the process but any guidance is welcomed with open arms.

Sincerely yours, Kiwi Lad.

Trusted Council Member
Posts: 6,191
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: A) e-File activation code and submission problems and B) e-File IRS PIN number issuance problem

Hi kiwi11,



I'll be glad to help you with tax law questions and I may also be able to help you figure out how to do things with your tax return in the software, however these are technical questions that nobody in the community is going to be able to answer.  We are all volunteers here so even those of us who work for H&R Block in offices don't work with the online & at home versions of the software regularly.  The best option is actually to call support (which you've already done) although I don't believe that even they would be able to give you a for certain answer for all of these questions.


You said that you don't have an e-file PIN number for filing on your own.  If, in addition to not knowing your PIN number, you do not know your last year's AGI (which is used as your PIN when you don't know it) then you will not be able to e-file without the assistance of a tax professional in an office.  Therefore, my advice to you is to mail your tax return to the IRS if you do not have access to a tax professional.  The postal service will cost you about $20 with tracking if you use one of their Global Priority envelopes (or the equivalent from the postal service that they have in the country you're in such as Royal Mail if you are in Great Britain).  If you're in a country where FedEx is the only option then you might look at sending your return in a large envelope or a large FedEx envelope as that is usually much less expensive.



Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)