Adjusted gross income is utilized to calculate your credits and allowable deduction from your income. It is your pre-tax income (after all deductions and credits) less the tax. If your adjusted gross income goes lower than the threshold amount, you get to deduct the taxes, but your deductions and credits are limited. Adjusted Gross Income and How It Affects Your Taxes Every taxpayer’s adjusted gross income is determined differently because your individual income tax situation is unique.


How to calculate your Adjusted Gross Income

The government defines AGI as “gross income minus any deductions allowable for income tax purposes,” including income tax deductions and tax credits. Adjustments to your income are commonly made to lower or increase your Adjusted Gross Income. Adding or subtracting certain expenses from your income can result in a higher or lower Adjusted Gross Income. Usually, the higher the amount, the more tax you will pay. If it is below a certain level, you will typically receive a refund or a tax credit on your tax return. If your AGI is higher than the level set by law, you will typically receive a reduced amount of tax.


What is AGI and Its Influence on Taxes?

AGI is the amount of income, deductions, and tax credits you report to the Internal Revenue Service on your tax return, as reported on Schedule A. To determine your AGI, you’ll have to calculate your deductions, standard deduction, itemized deductions, and tax credits. The deductions you report can depend on your income, whereas the credits are determined on your adjusted income.

It’s essential to be aware of your AGI to avoid penalties when your income has increased above your allowable deduction or tax credit limits. However, most Americans don’t know the limits on their deductions or tax credits. Generally, you’ll want to report the maximum deduction and tax credit and then only claim a portion of the maximum. You have to itemize to claim most of the credits and deductions.


How to Reduce My AGI

Many people who have a lower AGI end up paying more taxes because of deductions and credits they do not take advantage of. It is important to learn the IRS rules for deductions and credits when it comes to AGI. This offers you a better idea of how much income to report on your tax return and what tax bracket to fall into so that you can minimize your taxes.


How to File Your Taxes

If you make more than the applicable tax-free threshold and owe taxes on the amount above the threshold, you will owe tax on the difference between your adjusted gross income and your adjusted gross income for the year. You will be taxed on that difference and likely on the amount over the applicable tax-free threshold as well.

You will be entitled to itemize deductions only if your adjusted gross income is below a threshold listed on your tax return. If your adjusted gross income is above the applicable threshold, you will not be able to itemize deductions. Your tax rate will be determined by subtracting the applicable threshold from your adjusted gross income. The amount you pay in tax will be based on your AGI less any tax credits and deductions that you claim for that year.