Products & Pricing
Online products
CD/download products
Mobile products
Self-employment taxes
Small business taxes
Military
Compare products
TurboTax Advantage
Previous years' products
File an IRS extension
Access my downloads
Tools & Tips
Tax calculators
Tax tips & videos
Track my donations
TurboTax blog
After You File
Track my refund
Check my e-file status
Print my return
Amend my return
Access prior year returns
Go to Turbo
Help
TurboTax Support
Frequently Asked Questions
Expert Services
How TurboTax works
Security
Tax Reform

What is Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)?

Updated for Tax Year 2018


OVERVIEW

Adjusted gross income (AGI) can directly impact the deductions and credits you are eligible for, which can wind up reducing the amount of taxable income you report on your tax return.


AGI Overview

When preparing your tax return, you probably pay more attention to your taxable income than your adjusted gross income (AGI). However, your AGI is also worthy of your attention, since it can directly impact the deductions and credits you’re eligible for—which can wind up reducing the amount of taxable income you report on the return.

AGI calculation

The AGI calculation is relatively straightforward.

  • It is equal to the total income you report that’s subject to income tax—such as earnings from your job, self-employment, dividends and interest from a bank account—minus specific deductions, or “adjustments” that you’re eligible to take.
  • Your AGI is calculated before you take the standard or itemized deductions —which you report in later sections of the return.

Adjustments to income

Adjustments to income are specific deductions that directly reduce your total income to arrive at your AGI. The types of adjustments that you can deduct are subject to change each year, but a number of them consistently show up on tax returns year after year. Some of these adjustments include:

  • half of the self-employment taxes you pay
  • alimony payments made to a former spouse (for agreements prior to 2019)
  • contributions to certain retirement accounts (such as a traditional IRA)

The 1040 is the only form that allows you to deduct every possible adjustment. Using form 1040A significantly reduces the number of available adjustments you can take. And if you're filing on the 1040EZ, your AGI is the same as your total income, since the form doesn’t allow you to deduct any adjustments to income.

Impact on deductions and credits

Many of the deductions and credits that taxpayers commonly take advantage of each year are subject to AGI limitations. If you itemize deductions, for example, you must reduce your medical and dental expenses by 7.5% of your AGI for tax years 2017 and 2018—meaning that you can only deduct the amount that exceeds 7.5% of your AGI. For tax years after 2018, the threshold increases to 10% of AGI. Therefore, the lower your AGI is, the more of your medical and dental expenses you can deduct.

Even some of your adjustments to income are subject to AGI limitations despite the fact that those deductions are necessary to calculate your AGI. If you’re eligible to deduct some of your tuition payments, your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) determines whether you qualify.

Other AGI implications

If you live in a state that requires you to file annual income tax returns, your AGI can also impact your state taxable income. This is because many states use your federal AGI as the starting point for calculating your state taxable income. And if you claim a tax credit, such as the lifetime learning credit, for your school expenses, the IRS requires that your MAGI be below certain thresholds in order to claim the credit.

When you use TurboTax to prepare your taxes, we’ll ask you simple questions about your income and walk you step-by-step through the available adjustments to income and other deductions. We handle all the calculations for AGI and MAGI and determine exactly how this impacts your other deductions and credits.

A TurboTax solution for every situation

See which tax prep product is right for you

Looking for more information?

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

Security is built into everything we do
* Important Offer Details and Disclosures
  • TURBOTAX ONLINE/MOBILE

  • Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. Absolute Zero $0 federal (1040EZ/1040A) + $0 state offer only available with TurboTax Federal Free Edition; offer may change or end at any time without notice. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or e-file and are subject to change without notice. Savings and price comparisons based on anticipated price increase expected in March. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
  • QuickBooks Self-Employed Offer with TurboTax Self-Employed: File your 2016 TurboTax Self-Employed return between 4/19/17 and 10/16/17 to receive your complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed until 10/31/18. Activation by 12/31/17 required. Sign in to QuickBooks Self-Employed via mobile app or at https://selfemployed.intuit.com/turbotax; e-mail address used for activation and sign-in. Offer valid only for new QuickBooks Self-Employed customers. See QuickBooks.com for price comparison.
    • When you use TurboTax Self-Employed to file your 2017 taxes, you will have the option to renew your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription. If you do not purchase TurboTax Self-Employed by 10/15/18, you will have the option of renewing your QuickBooks Self-Employed subscription by 10/31/18 for another year at the then-current annual subscription rate. You may cancel your subscription at any time from within the QuickBooks Self-Employed billing section.
  • Pays for itself (TurboTax Self-Employed): Estimates based on deductible business expenses calculated at the self-employment tax income rate (15.3%) for tax year 2016. Actual results will vary based on your tax situation.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard message and data rates apply to download and use mobile app.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: $34.99 Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • TurboTax Expert Help, Tax Advice and SmartLook: Included with Deluxe, Premier and Self-Employed (via phone or on-screen); not included with Federal Free Edition (but available for purchase with the Plus bundle). SmartLook on-screen help is available on a PC, laptop or the TurboTax mobile app. TurboTax experts provide general advice, customer service and product help; tax advice provided only by credentialed CPAs, enrolled agents and tax attorneys. Feature availability varies by device. State tax advice is free. Service, area of expertise, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice.
  • Tax Return Access, My Docs and My Analysis & Advice features: Access to all tax-related documents we have on file for you is available until you file your 2017 tax return or through 10/31/2018, whichever comes first. Terms and conditions may vary and are subject to change without notice.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2015 TurboTax products.
  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.
  • CompleteCheck: Covered under the TurboTax accurate calculations and maximum refund guarantees.
  • #1 rated online tax prep provider: Based on independent comparison of the best online tax software by TopTenReviews.com March 13, 2017.
  • TURBOTAX CD/DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE

  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal e-file of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for e-filing state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase expected in March. Prices subject to change without notice.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with e-file and direct deposit; tax refund time frames will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: $34.99 Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice. This benefit is available with TurboTax Federal products except TurboTax Business.
  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support vary by time of year.
  • About our credentialed tax experts: Live tax advice via phone is included with Premier and Home & Business; fees apply for Basic and Deluxe customers. State tax advice is free. Service, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice. Not available for TurboTax Business customers.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2015 TurboTax products.
  • Data Import: Imports financial data from participating companies. Quicken and QuickBooks import not available with TurboTax installed on a Mac. Imports from Quicken (2015 and higher) and QuickBooks Desktop (2011 and higher); both Windows only. Quicken import not available for TurboTax Business. Quicken products provided by Quicken Inc., Quicken import subject to change.
About
Online Software Products
CD/Download Products
Mobile Tax Apps
Help and Support
Tax Tools and Tips
More Products from Intuit