Above the line deductions
The tax laws allow a number of deductions from your gross, or total, income to arrive at your adjusted gross income, or AGI. If you qualify for any of these deductions, they are generally deductible regardless of whether you claim the standard or itemized deduction. A couple of these deductions include student loan interest and alimony payments you may have paid through the year.
Often, these deductions are limited if your modified adjusted gross income amount is too high. In 2014 for example, you can deduct up to $2,500 of student loan interest payments if your MAGI is less than $75,000. Your MAGI equals the AGI you report on your tax return increased by the amount of your student loan interest deduction. In other words, it is what your AGI would be if you did not claim a deduction for student loan interest.