AGI or Adjusted Gross Income is the figure which represents how much a tax payer earned and is responsible for paying taxes on with respect to the prior tax year. AGI includes all income sources, but is often smaller than the total gross income as a select number of adjustments (deductions, credits, certain expenses, etc) are made to this figure in accordance with the US tax code. These adjustments, which can include retirement accounts, work related expenses, education and other expenses, are often phased out for higher income earners.
Knowing what this figure is for you can be helpful when determining if you qualify for certain tax breaks and/or programs, for example the Earned Income Tax Credit. It is also very commonly used to sign or verify a tax payer’s identity when electronically filing with the IRS.
To identify your AGI on your prior year tax return, look to the following places;
If you filed Form 1040 it will be listed on line 37.
If you filed Form 1040A it will be listed on line 21.
If you filed Form 1040-EZ it will be listed on line 4.
Please note: If you did not file a return last year and did not create a PIN, or you filed AFTER Oct 15th, you can chose to enter "0" for your AGI and file without a prior year PIN.