Your AGI (adjusted gross income) is a figure that represents your total gross earnings (before taxes) minus certain adjustments. It's often used to validate your identity when e-filing your taxes.
The easiest way to find your AGI is to take a copy of last year's federal tax return and look for:
- Line 11 if you filed Form 1040
- Line 11 if you filed Form 1040-SR
- Line 11 if you filed Form 1040-NR
You can also confirm this by looking for the bold text that states "This is your adjusted gross income".
If you paid someone else to prepare your tax return, then ask them for a copy. If you used tax preparation software to file your tax return, then you should be able to log in and retrieve this figure.
When all else fails, you can always get a copy from the IRS directly using their Get Transcript Online tool. Paper copies can also be requested by mail if you prefer.
How is AGI Calculated?
AGI is the sum of all of your income before taxes. This includes any wages, self-employment income (including side hustles), interest, dividends, capital gains, etc. Your earnings may be adjusted to exclude certain items such as contributions to a qualified retirement plan like a traditional IRA or 401(k).
Why is My AGI so Important?
Government programs tend to use AGI as a way of evaluating whether certain taxpayers are eligible for various benefits and programs. For example, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a popular tax break intended to help low- and moderate-income workers that are primarily based on AGI.
Note that AGI is different from MAGI (modified adjusted gross income). Your MAGI is your AGI plus untaxed foreign income, non-taxable Social Security benefits, and tax-exempt interest. MAGI is often used to determine if you're eligible to participate in contributing to a traditional or Roth IRA as well as some tax deductions or credits.