IRS: what is an AGI, or adjusted gross income?

As millions of Americans file their tax returns with the IRS, they are faced with terminology they may not understand, such as AGI.

This is especially true for first time taxpayers.

One of the more common tax terms is AGI, or your adjusted gross income.

This may be located on your W-2 from your employer.

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Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Explained

Your adjusted gross income is your income without income adjustments.

This can be calculated mathematically.

Add the following to find your gross income

  • Wages
  • Dividends
  • Capital gains
  • business income
  • Pension distributions
  • Any other income

Once you have calculated all of your gross income, you subtract the income adjustments.

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Income adjustments can be

  • Educator expenses
  • Interest on student loans
  • Alimony
  • Contributions to a retirement account

Your AGI will not be greater than your gross income.

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Where can I find my AGI?

On your W-2, you will only find your unadjusted gross income from that job.

The form has different boxes with amounts withheld.

You can subtract the amounts in the boxes to find your AGI.

Your tax return copy or your IRS transcript may have your AGI.

You can also use an AGI calculator to help you determine your return.

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