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Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)

This is your income from all taxable sources, minus certain adjustments, and is the key to determining your eligibility for certain tax benefits and the phase-out of your eligibility for others. Adjusted Gross Income is also the amount from which deductions (the standard deduction or itemized deductions) and personal and dependent exemptions are deducted to arrive at the amount of taxable income that will actually be taxed. The adjustments—sometimes called above-the-line deductions because you can claim them whether or not you itemize deductions— include (among other things) deductible contributions to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), SIMPLE and Keogh plans, contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), job-related moving expenses, any penalty paid on early withdrawal of savings, the deduction for 50 percent of the self-employment tax paid by self-employed taxpayers, alimony payments, up to $2,500 of interest on higher education loans and certain qualifying college costs.