Your adjusted gross income (AGI) is an important number come tax time, especially if you're planning to e-file. Not only does it impact the tax breaks you’re eligible for—your AGI is now also a kind of identification.
For tax years beginning 2018, the 1040A and EZ forms are no longer available. They have been replaced with new 1040 and 1040-SR forms. For those who are filing prior year returns, you can continue to use form 1040A or EZ for tax years through 2017.
• If you e-file, the IRS may ask for your AGI from last year’s return in order to verify your identity.
• Your adjusted gross income (AGI) consists of the total amount of income and earnings you made for the tax year minus certain adjustments to income.
• For tax year 2022, your AGI is on Line 11 on Form 1040, 1040-SR, and 1040-NR. It is located on different lines on forms from earlier years.
• Your AGI often impacts the tax breaks you’re eligible for.
What is adjusted gross income (AGI)?
When filing your taxes, you may wonder, “what is my AGI?” Adjusted gross income is your gross income minus any adjustments to your income, such as student loan interest, alimony payments, or retirement account contributions.
Gross income includes your wages, capital gains, retirement distributions, dividends, and any other form of income.
As you prepare your tax return, it’s important to note that your AGI will never total more than your Gross Total Income.
Where do you find your AGI on your tax return?
It’s important to know how to find your AGI on your tax return because it’s used to determine your income tax liability. Your AGI will be found on line 11 of your 2022 Form 1040, 1040-SR, and 1040-NR. If you plan to e-file your tax return, you may need to first find the amount of AGI from last year's return in order for the IRS to verify your identity. You can find your AGI on the form you used to file your last year's return.
Various versions of Form 1040 reflect the AGI amount on different lines:
- Line 11 on Form 1040 and 1040-SR (2021 tax year)
- Line 11 on Form 1040-NR (tax year 2021 form)
- Line 8b on Form 1040 and 1040-SR (2019 tax year)
- Line 7 on Form 1040 (2018 tax year)
- Line 21 on Form 1040A (tax years before 2018)
- Line 4 on Form 1040EZ (tax years before 2018)
You can find the name of your tax form on the upper left hand corner of your return.
If you used online tax software, you can typically login and download a copy of your prior year’s 1040 tax return to find your AGI.
If you used TurboTax, read this helpful FAQ on where to find last year’s AGI to verify your identity.
TurboTax Tip: If you used TurboTax, read this helpful FAQ on where to find last year’s AGI to verify your identity for this year’s tax return.
How do you calculate your adjusted gross income?
The IRS defines AGI as "gross income minus adjustments to income." Depending on the adjustments you’re allowed, your AGI will be equal to or less than the total amount of income or earnings you made for the tax year.
When calculating your adjusted gross income, you’ll need to consider all of your sources of income, including:
- Wages on a W-2 or 1099 form
- Self-employment income on a Schedule C
- Interest and dividends
- Alimony from an ex-spouse (for agreements prior to 2019)
- Capital gains
- Rental income
- Other earnings subject to income tax
AGI doesn't include your standard or itemized tax deductions, so set those aside to figure into your taxable income later.
After calculating your total income, the next step is subtracting any adjustments.
Adjustments can include:
- Student loan interest
- Educator expenses
- Alimony paid
- Retirement account contributions
- Certain business expenses for self-employed workers
- Health savings account (HSA) contributions
Instructions for Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR have a complete list of all eligible adjustments.
After subtracting your adjustments from your total income earned, you’ll get your AGI, which will be reported on line 11 of Form 1040.
Why is AGI important?
In addition to being used to verifying your identity, your AGI impacts many of the tax deductions and credits you can take at tax time. That’s especially important because deductions and credits can increase your tax refund or reduce the amount of taxes you owe. Depending on your filing status, you may be subject to a limit on your deductions based on your AGI which usually applies to higher income earners.
Why do I need to know my AGI to e-file my tax return?
When self-preparing your tax return to file electronically, the IRS uses your adjusted gross income or your prior-year Self-Select PIN to validate your identity and your electronic tax return.
In many cases, if you’ve used tax software to e-file previous tax returns, your AGI will automatically be entered into the filing information for your current year return. If you’re using a tax software for the first time, you’ll need to enter your AGI information yourself.
What do I do if my AGI is incorrect?
If your AGI was incorrect on a tax return from a previous year, it might be rejected by the IRS or your state tax agency.
If your tax return is rejected due to an AGI error, fortunately, it’s easy to fix. You’ll simply need to resubmit your tax return with the correct AGI.
If it wasn’t a simple manual error, you can try to correct it by doing the following:
- Make sure you’ve rounded to the nearest dollar. For income amounts ending in 50 cents or greater, you’ll round up. For income amounts ending in 49 cents or lower, you’ll round down.
- If you had amended your previous year’s tax return, double-check that you’re using the AGI from your original return.
- Confirm with the IRS that your previous year’s tax return matches their records.
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