The adjusted gross income or AGI for short refers to the taxable portion of your income. In every case, your AGI will be different than your income reported on Form W-2. So you cannot find AGI on Forms W-2. To find your AGI, you need to calculate your AGI. Therefore, you won’t find AGI on any of the tax forms that is issued to you.
The one and the only way to find AGI is to calculate AGI using Form 1040. As for how to calculate AGI, it’s easy. You will claim the deductions that are available to you but before you get to that, you must decide whether to itemize or take the standard deduction.
Although it isn’t obvious at first glance, it is an easy decision to make. If your itemized deductions aren’t more than the standard deduction amount, take the standard deduction. Once that is all set and done, you can make adjustments to your taxable income which will reduce it further down. There are plenty of adjustments you can make to your tax deduction but the highlights include educator expenses, moving expenses for military service members, and student loan interests paid.
By gradually taking these steps, you will get to your AGI. You can see it on Line 8b of Form 1040. Looking for prior year’s AGI? More on that below.
AGI on Previous Years’ Tax Returns
If you did not file your tax return and hired a tax professional and trying to find adjusted gross income for previous tax years, request a transcript from the IRS. This is not your original tax return but will include the necessary information, in this case, your AGI.
This can easily be done online by using the IRS Get Transcript tool. To get your transcript, you don’t need much other than your personal information. You will be using the following to verify your identity.
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
- Filing Status
- Mailing address on the latest tax return
- Personal Account Number
- Phone number with your name on the account
Click here to use IRS Get Transcript to view old tax returns. Keep in mind that you won’t see all of your previous tax returns. Only the ones that are available online will be shown. This usually includes the tax returns that are filed electronically. If you can’t find the transcript you’re looking for, contact the IRS by dialing 1-800-908-9946.