What Is AGI?

What is AGI and how can you calculate it? Read on to find out.

Your total gross income minus the specific deductions make up the Adjusted Gross Income. In addition to this, your Adjusted Gross Income is the starting point to calculate your taxes and figure out whether you are eligible for certain tax credits or not. Moreover, there are also deductions you can use that will help you to reduce your overall tax bill.

In most cases, when preparing your tax return, people generally tend to pay attention to their taxable income instead of their adjusted gross income (AGI). However, you must also pay some attention to your AGI as well. This is because it directly has an effect on the deductions and credits that you qualify for. Thus resulting in the reduction of the amount of taxable income you report on the return.

There are different types of costs that can be deducted in order to get to your desired adjusted gross income. Knowing and understanding what these expenses are will assist you in ensuring that you are paying your taxes in the correct manner. If you want to know more about what is AGI, then you have come to the right place. We have gathered all relevant information to help you understand everything that you need to know. So, what are you waiting for? Without much further ado, let us dive right in!

What is AGI?

AGI is actually an acronym for Adjusted Gross Income which is your annual gross income minus some specific changes that the IRS utilizes to figure out your yearly income tax liability. Thus, if we want to define Adjusted Gross Income in simpler words, we can say that it is gross income minus the adjustments to income. Gross income incorporates your wages, profits, capital gains, business income, and retirement distributions in addition to other income. Moreover, adjustments to income incorporate things such as educator costs, student credit revenue, alimony installments, or contributions to a retirement account. Your AGI won’t ever be more than your Gross Total Income on your return and it might even be lower now and again.

Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI, begins with your gross income and is then diminished by some “above the line” deductions. Some regular instances of deductions that lessen adjusted gross income incorporate contributions to a 401(k) plan, contributions to healthcare saving accounts, and educator costs. After you have included your gross income, you can take a few “above the line” allowances to bring down that taxable sum. These are designated “above the line” since they apply whether you order your deductions or take the standard allowance. They’re likewise called “adjustments to income,” and are determined on IRS Schedule 1. For instance, on the off chance that you are a teacher who buys essential homeroom supplies, these can be deducted as a cost. Utilizing these derivations will permit you to bring down your adjusted gross income, possibly bringing about a tax refund.

AGI is gross income that is adjusted through qualified deductions that are allowed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These certified allowances diminish a person’s gross income, accordingly decreasing the taxes they need to pay. For instance, a person with a gross income of $88,000 would be in the 24% assessment section. In the event that that figure was decreased in manners allowed by the IRS, it may bring about an adjusted gross income of $84,000. The individual would now be in the 22% expense section and would pay 22% tax on $84,000 rather than 24% on $88,000.

Understanding Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)

As endorsed in the United States tax code, adjusted gross income is an alteration of gross income. Gross income is basically the amount of all the cash you procured in a year, which may incorporate wages, profits, capital gains, premium income, eminences, rental income, alimony, and retirement distributions. AGI makes certain changes to your gross income to arrive at the figure on which your tax liability will be determined.

Numerous states in the U.S. likewise utilize the AGI from the government returns to figure how much people owe in state income taxes. States may alter this number further with state-explicit derivations and credits. The things deducted from your gross income to compute your AGI are alluded to as adjustments to income, and you report them on Schedule 1 of your tax return when you record your yearly tax return. Probably the most widely recognized changes are recorded here, alongside the different tax forms on which a couple of them are calculated:

  • Early withdrawal penalties on savings
  • Alimony payments
  • Educator expenses
  • Student loan interest deduction
  • Tuition and fees (Form 8917)
  • Health savings account (HSA) deductions (Form 8889)
  • Moving expenses for members of the armed forces (Form 3903)
  • Employee business costs for armed forces reservists, qualified performing artists, fee-basis state or local government officials, and employees with disability-related work expenses (Form 2106)
  • Self-employed health insurance deduction
  • Self-employed SEP, SIMPLE, and qualified plans
  • Self-employment tax (the deductible portion)

With regards to below the line allowances and deductions, you may know that you can bring down your taxable income — and consequently, the taxes you owe — by taking the standard deduction or separating your deductions, contingent upon your particular tax conditions. Be that as it may, you may likewise have the option to bring down your tax charge because of above-the-line tax changes used to compute your AGI. All in all, the lower your AGI, the more noteworthy the possibility you’ll meet all requirements for tax credits and certain organized allowances.

Note that necessities for some below-the-line changes, tax credits, and itemized deductions can be quite certain and are dependent upon income limits. This implies that tax benefits may be decreased or restricted if your AGI or MAGI (contingent upon the tax benefit) is over a specific level. For instance:

  • Medical and dental cost deduction: The IRS will allow you to deduct a segment of qualifying clinical costs that surpass 7.5% of your AGI. So if your AGI is $50,000, you can just deduct clinical costs that surpass $3,750. This implies that on the off chance that you have $6,000 in clinical costs, $2,250 would be deductible.
  • Child tax credit: Starting in 2018, qualified taxpayers can get a tax credit of up to $2,000 on the off chance that they have a qualifying young one (and meet different prerequisites). The child tax credit starts to be eliminated if the taxpayer has a MAGI of $200,000 or more ($400,000 for wedded couples documenting together). Necessities are additionally liable to change every year, so be keeping watch for new laws prior to recording your taxes.

How does AGI work?

The first page of your U.S. federal tax return (Form 1040) is where your AGI is calculated, utilizing data from Schedule 1. Ascertaining AGI is a significant initial step since it fills in as the establishment for deciding the deduction and credits for which you may qualify and the income tax you owe. To decide your AGI, start with your gross income and deduct qualifying things to diminish the sum. Basic things can include:

  • Alimony payments
  • Moving expenses for members of the armed forces
  • Educator expenses, such as supplies paid for by teachers
  • College tuition and fees or student loan interest
  • Health care savings account deduction
  • Contributions to certain retirement accounts
  • Penalties from financial institutions for early withdrawal of savings
  • SEP-IRA, SIMPLE IRA, and 401(k) deductions for the self-employed

In case you’re doing your own taxes, tax software can consequently help you determine your AGI. The utilization of software can assist you with staying away from numerical mistakes in light of the fact that the software will accurately figure out all of the tax estimations as it helps you through the tax interview. Furthermore, in the event that you are unable to comprehend the distinction between AGI and gross income or how to ascertain it, you may pay income taxes more than that you are required to.

Items that are eligible to be deducted from AGI

One of the most significant elements of Form 1040 is the AGI. This is primarily because the IRS utilizes it as the benchmark number to figure out the way in which your taxes are processed, how much tax you owe, and your eligible benefits. Moreover, items that are qualified to be deducted from gross income are given below:

  • Independently employed people can deduct a few costs, including health care coverage expenses and half of the independent work tax.
  • The individuals who make commitments to individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and qualified retirement plans can lessen their gross income by the sum contributed, up as far as possible.
  • Reservists, qualified performing specialists, and government laborers paid on a charge premise may guarantee certain operational expenses through Form 2106.
  • Those putting resources into a Health Savings Account (HSA) can deduct that cost.
  • The interest on educational loans, however, excluding the principal balance, is tax-deductible.
  • Educator costs are deductible up to $250 every year.

These costs are standard above-the-line deductions that can require a significant stretch of time to figure out, yet it is definitely worth exploiting each tax break you can discover. Below the line deductions, like magnanimous gifts or clinical costs, can be deducted from your AGI after it has effectively been determined. These deductions are recorded on Schedule A and given an account of Form 1040.

Clinical costs should surpass 7.5% of AGI to meet all requirements for the deduction. Also, deductions for cash contributions to a good cause are by and large restricted to 60% of AGI. However, now and again, 20%, 30%, or half, may apply. These deductions probably decide if you utilize the standard deduction or organize your deductions.

How do I calculate Adjusted Gross Income?

When you know your AGI, you can decide if you meet all requirements for various deductions and recompenses. For instance, on your 2020 taxes, which are expected on Tax Day 2021, it’s feasible to deduct clinical costs that surpass 7.5% of your AGI. So to realize the amount you can deduct, you need to initially figure your AGI.

In the event that you use software to set up your tax return, it will compute your AGI once you enter your numbers. On the off chance that you figure it out manually, you’ll start by counting your reported income for the year. That may incorporate occupation income, as answered to the IRS by your manager on a W-2 structure, in addition to any income, like profits and incidental income, provided details regarding 1099 structures. Then, you add any taxable income from different sources, like a benefit on the offer of a property, joblessness pay, annuities, social security installments, or whatever else that hasn’t effectively been accounted for to the IRS. Large numbers of these income things are additionally recorded on IRS Schedule 1.

The subsequent stage is to deduct the appropriate changes in accordance with the income recorded above from your revealed income. The subsequent figure is your adjusted gross income. To decide your taxable income, take away either the standard deduction or your complete ordered deductions from your AGI. Much of the time, you can pick whichever gives you the most advantage. For instance, the standard deduction for 2020 tax returns for wedded couples filing mutually is $24,800 ($25,100 for 2021), so couples whose separated deductions surpass that sum would by and large select to order, while others would essentially take the standard deduction.

The IRS gives a rundown of organized deductions and the prerequisites for asserting them on its site. Your AGI likewise influences your qualification for a large number of the deductions and credits accessible on your tax return. When all is said in done, the lower your AGI, the more prominent the measure of deductions and credits you will be qualified to guarantee, and the more you’ll have the option to lessen your tax bill.

Adjusted Gross Income vs. Gross Income

Before you compute your adjusted gross income, you should decide your gross income — the absolute income on Form 1040 — that you acquired for the tax year wherein you’re filing. Gross income incorporates all cash you have made on your checks before finance taxes. Nonetheless, it isn’t restricted to your paycheck — it incorporates cash you procure from different sources, as well. Gross income can remember other work profit for expansion to compensations (rewards, for instance), just as interest and profits, long-and transient capital additions and misfortunes, interest, profits, alimony, benefits and annuities, investment property income, eminences, and any income received from working a business.

Additionally, on the off chance that you sold any things on eBay, Craigslist, or another online store, you have acquired income from benefits by selling merchandise. Gross income likewise remembers net increases for removal of resources, like selling a home or vehicle, or any cash gotten through self-employed work, counseling, side positions, and different kinds of revenue. These income sources are represented on the initial few lines of Form 1040 and Part I of Schedule 1. The rundown of things that adds to your complete gross income is broad, and you may require help figuring out what’s viewed as income for this reason. Tax programming will assist you with recognizing profit that should be accounted for to the public authority by posing inquiries in the tax meeting, or you can ask an accountant for counsel.

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) vs. Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)

Notwithstanding AGI, some tax calculations and federal programs call for utilizing what’s known as your modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI. This figure begins with your adjusted gross income at that point adds back specific things, for example, any deductions you take for educational loan interest or educational cost and charges. As per the IRS, for most taxpayers, MAGI is just adjusted gross income (AGI) prior to taking away deductible student loan interest.

In case you’re recording Form 1040 and itemizing so that you can take certain deductions, you may need to compute your MAGI. It also can be a benchmark for deciding the phaseout level of certain credits and tax-saving procedures, and here and there the equation for MAGI can rely upon the sort of tax advantage it applies to. In addition to this, your MAGI is utilized to decide how much you can contribute and add to a Roth IRA in one year. It is likewise used to figure your income on the off chance that you apply for Marketplace medical coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Numerous individuals with generally straightforward monetary lives find that their AGI and MAGI are a similar number, or close.

What is an example of AGI?

Suppose you had some critical dental costs during the year that weren’t repaid by insurance and you’ve chosen to order your deductions. You are permitted to deduct the bit of those costs that surpass 7.5% of your AGI. This implies in the event that you report $12,000 in unreimbursed dental costs and have an AGI of $100,000, you can deduct the sum that surpasses $7,500, which is $4,500. Nonetheless, if your AGI is $50,000, the 7.5% decrease is simply $3,750, and you’d be qualified for an $8,250 deduction.

Adjusted Gross Income and your taxes

Your AGI has truly been significant in light of the fact that it directed your qualification for extra deductions when documenting your tax return. The deduction qualification used to depend, to a limited extent, on the kind of Internal Revenue Service tax form you filled out. However, in late 2018, when the new tax law produced results, the new IRS Form 1040 supplanted the two existing varieties — Form 1040A and Form 1040EZ — changing the direction for itemized and standard deductions. As per the IRS, separated deductions are not, at this point restricted on the grounds that your AGI is over a given cutoff. Before, individuals with AGIs over a predefined sum would be restricted to specific deductions. In any case, contingent upon the condition of your home and documenting status, your AGI may in any case have suggestions for your state-level tax returns. Talk with a tax proficient or visit the IRS website to sort out what your AGI may mean for your return.

Adjusted Gross Income in lending decisions

Adjusted gross income isn’t possibly utilized when recording taxes yet additionally when you are applying for significant credits like home loans. Home loan moneylenders need to be certain that potential borrowers can cover the regularly scheduled installment, so they utilize your AGI to get a precise preview of your income. Your AGI, alongside different parts of your monetary profile — like your debt-to-income ratio, financial record, and FICO assessments — would all be able to be utilized to endorse you for another loan and build up your loan sum and loan costs.

Furthermore, in case you’re pondering about getting a loan, it’s a smart thought to get a free duplicate of your credit reports and scores so you understand what moneylenders will be seeing while thinking about your applications. You must keep in mind that checking your own credit won’t influence your FICO rating and you can do it as frequently as you like. In addition to this, understand that your AGI isn’t just significant during tax season, yet it can have implications for different parts of your monetary life. With regards to calculations like this, it’s suggested you look for help from trustworthy tax and home loan experts. For more data about the most up-to-date IRS tax strategies, visit the IRS site.

How your AGI impacts your dependents?

With the third stimulus check, your AGI is the principal qualification for getting the cash or not, because of an adjustment of the standards and recipe the IRS uses to figure your installment complete. In the event that your AGI surpasses the breaking point, you will not get a check. In the event that it falls under $80,000 for single taxpayers (this only one model), you’ll get a full or halfway watch that incorporates up to $1,400 per ward of all ages you guarantee. Your AGI is additionally basic in your qualification for the child tax credit. Similarly, as with stimulus checks, your total will become lower on a sliding scale on the off chance that you make a specific measure of cash in 2021.

How your AGI is used?

There are a few significant ways your AGI is utilized:

  • Deciding your government (and state) tax liability. Your AGI is essential for the condition to compute your taxable income and your government tax liability. On the off chance that you live in a state that requires you to pay state income taxes, your AGI will be utilized to decide your state taxes, as well.
  • Deciding your qualification for tax credits and deductions. Your AGI straightforwardly influences the tax credits and below the line deductions that you’re qualified for, particularly in the event that you intend to order deductions (rather than taking the standard deduction). In any case, it can get somewhat interesting: Some tax credits and separated deductions are subject to your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), not your AGI. Nothing unexpected: Your AGI is the beginning stage for deciding your MAGI.
  • To e-document your taxes. In case you’re deciding to e-record your taxes, you’ll need to discover your AGI from the earlier year. In the event that you’ve e-recorded previously, you ought to have the option to import a year ago’s information in case you’re utilizing a similar tax readiness programming. If not, you can discover it on line 7 of your 1040 form. You can likewise contact the IRS.

The significance and implications of AGI

Your AGI is frequently the beginning stage for figuring out what your tax bill is. From that point, you’ll make different changes and take away your admissible deductions to discover the sum on which you’ll settle tax: That’s your taxable income. You’ll see the expression “adjusted gross income (AGI)” rehashed all through your tax forms. AGI is the premise on which you may meet all requirements for some deductions and credits. For instance, you might have the option to deduct unreimbursed clinical costs. However, you can only do this when they’re over 7.5% of your AGI. So the lower your AGI, the more noteworthy the deduction. Your state tax return may likewise utilize your government AGI as a beginning stage. In the event that you document taxes on the web, your product will compute your AGI.

Your AGI impacts a considerable lot of the tax deductions and credits you can take at tax time. That is particularly significant in light of the fact that deductions and credits can expand your tax discount or lessen the measure of taxes you owe. Contingent upon your documenting status, you might be dependent upon an AGI limit — a dollar sum that restricts the deductions you can take — which ordinarily applies to higher-income workers. By and large, the more deductions and credits you take, the lower your taxable income.

On the off chance that you live in an express that expects you to record yearly income tax returns, your AGI can likewise affect your state taxable income. This is on the grounds that numerous states utilize your government AGI as the beginning stage for ascertaining your state taxable income. What’s more, in the event that you guarantee a tax credit, for example, the lifetime learning credit, for your school expenses, the IRS necessitates that your MAGI be below certain limits to guarantee the credit. Indeed, even a portion of your changes in accordance with income is dependent upon AGI impediments regardless of the way that those deductions are important to ascertain your AGI. In case you’re qualified to deduct a portion of your educational cost installments, your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) decides if you qualify.


Now that you have read this article, you know all about what is AGI. Adjusted gross income (AGI) is your gross income — which incorporates compensation, profits, alimony, capital additions, business income, retirement distributions, and other income — short certain installments you’ve made during the year, for example, student loan revenue or contributions to a customary individual retirement account or a healthcare investment account.

Charles Bains

Charles Bains

Charles Bains started his insurance career as a marketing intern before pounding the pavement as a commercial lines agent in Orlando, FL. As an industry journalist, his articles have appeared in a variety of trade publications. His insurance television career, short-lived but glorious, once saw him serve as the expert adviser on an insurance-themed infomercial (yes, you read that correctly). Having recently worked for various organizations, coupled with his broader insurance knowledge, Charles is able to understand our client’s needs and guide them accordingly. He is a gem for Insurance Noon as his wide area of expertise and experience have been beneficial in conducting further researches to come up with solutions and writing them in a manner which is easy for everyone including beginners to comprehend.