What is Adjusted Gross Income?

adjusted gross income

Save time by uploading your prior year return, including your AGI, into TaxSlayer when you e-file.  

What is gross income? 

Gross income is the amount you earn before withholding money for taxes, IRAs, and other accounts and deductions. Gross income can include wages, capital gains, dividends and interest, royalties, and retirement income. 

What is adjusted gross income (AGI)? 

Your adjusted gross income (AGI) is the dollar amount used to calculate your tax bill. To find your AGI, start with your gross income and then apply your tax deductions. You can expect your AGI to be less than your gross income. You don’t have to pay taxes on all your earned income. Your AGI will show you how much of your income is taxable.   

What deductions are used to find my AGI? 

Some of the deductions that are included in calculating your AGI are: 

  • IRAs and other retirement contributions 
  • Medical expenses 
  • Healthcare savings account deductions 
  • Alimony 
  • Half of the self-employment tax 
  • Student loan interest
  • Jury duty pay to a filer’s employer 
  • Losses from the sale or exchange of property 

What deductions depend on my AGI? 

Some deductions use your AGI to calculate how much you can take. They might be limited by your AGI. This applies to many itemized deductions. The following deductions are affected by your AGI. 

How do I calculate my AGI? 

When e-filing, TaxSlayer takes care of these calculations for you. If you are a first-time filer over the age of 16, enter zero for your AGI. If you need to calculate your AGI before you e-file, take your gross income and deduct any above the line deductions you qualify for.  

Where can I find my AGI from previous years?

Here is where you find your AGI from previous years (2018 and older): 

  • Form 1040 EZ – line 4
  • Form 1040 – line 37
  • Form 1040 A – line 21 

As of 2019, your AGI is now listed on line 7 on the back of the Form 1040. 

If you filed with TaxSlayer last year, we will have your prior year return available for you to access. It will show your AGI from last year. 

What if I don’t have my prior year return? 

If you do not have a copy of last year’s tax return:

  • Use the Get Transcript Online tool to view your AGI. Select the Tax Return Transcript and fill out the “Adjusted Gross Income” line. To do this online you have to pass the Secure Access verification process.
  • Or use Get Transcript by Mail or call 800-908-9946 to request a Return Transcript. Allow 5 to 10 days for delivery.

What is a PIN and why do I need it?

A PIN is an identification number that acts as your online signature when you e-file your state and federal taxes. The PIN is used on the signature page of the income tax return during the e-filing process.  

When e-filing, enter your Current Year PIN, a five-digit number you make up during the final stages of tax prep, on the signature page. Keep this number in a safe place because you will need it for next year. 

Then enter either your last year’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from your federal taxes OR your last year’s PIN number to verify your prior year information. 

Your Prior Year PIN is the PIN you used while filing last year’s income tax return. 

What if I don’t remember my PIN and I don’t have access to last year’s AGI? 

If you don’t have either of these pieces of information, request your prior year PIN from who you filed your taxes with last year. If you are required to make a new PIN, enter it in the box that says Prior Year PIN. Make sure to check the box that says Alternate PIN. Make sure the numbers are correct before continuing.

The information in this article is up to date through tax year 2020 (taxes filed 2021). 

This article is intended to provide general information to the public and does not provide personalized tax, investment, legal, or business advice. You should seek the assistance of a professional for advice on taxes, investments, and any other financial, legal, or business matter pertinent to your individual situation.

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