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Home / Tips and Tricks / Incentive Check: What is an AGI and what does it have to do with your payment?

Incentive Check: What is an AGI and what does it have to do with your payment?


Your AGI is critical to your taxes as well as your incentive check.

James Martin / CNET

Did you know that the IRS has a formula to decide how much of the stimulus money check you are may receive? although not everyone would be eligible for a second incentive paymentis an important factor in calculating that total depending on a line item from your taxes called your adjusted gross income or AGI. The first round of stimulus controls used it, and a second would most likely be too when it comes your way.

We’ll explain more below, but first you want to know that the negotiations to adopt a new economic aid package are full steam ahead as the year’s business draws to a close. While the main proposal is pending dropped a second stimulus check, there’s reason to believe we’ll see it up for discussion again in a few weeks. Republicans and Democrats have expressed support for another direct payment of maximum $ 1,200 each for eligible adults.

Here’s what you need to know about what your AGI actually is, how to find it, and how it all fits into incentive payments. If you’re looking for more information, CNET has resources on the relationship between stimulus controls and your IRS priority group, as well as what happens if you use SSI or SSDI, if you are an older adult, if you have dependents, if you are a young adult, or if you are in a child support situation.

What is my AGI and what does it mean for my incentive payment?

Your AGI is your adjusted gross income – an amount calculated based on your total income to determine how much the government can tax you. Your gross income is the sum of all the money you earn in a year, including wages, dividends, alimony, capital gains, interest income, royalties, rental income and retirement benefits. After you deduct allowable deductions from your gross income (such as interest on student loans, alimony payments, or retirement contributions), the result is your AGI, or taxable income, which is used to calculate your income tax. Your AGI is reported on IRS tax form 1040.

Because it’s a rough estimate of how much money you’ll bring in after deducting all of your income streams, the IRS uses your AGI to calculate how much you can get from a $ 1,200 stimulus check – the current maximum being debated.

How can my AGI help me figure out how much money I could get in a second stimulus check?

Assuming another economic aid package passes, the amount you could get from a second stimulus check depends on your AGI, your application status (single versus joint), and how many dependents you have. You can read our story at how to calculate how much money you would receive from a second stimulus check for some examples of how it could fail for you, depending on your situation.

If the second relief package follows the same guidelines for incentive checks as the March CARES Act, single taxpayers with a Social Security number and an AGI of less than $ 75,000 would receive the full $ 1,200 amount. As your AGI increases, the amount you qualify for decreases. If your AGI is $ 99,000 or higher, you are not eligible for the incentive check. But again, this assumes that the the eligibility rules remain roughly the same.

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Signing up as a householder will get you the full $ 1,200 if your AGI is $ 112,500 or less. The amount would decrease until you reach $ 146,500, after which time you would not be eligible.

If you are a married couple filing jointly with no children and your AGI is less than $ 150,000, you will receive a payment of $ 2,400. That amount would diminish until you hit $ 198,000, after which time you wouldn’t be eligible for a check.

How do I find out what my AGI is if I have filed taxes in 2019?

If you’ve filed your federal tax return for 2019, pull out your printed documents or PDF. If you have tax filing software such as TurboTax or H&R Block, you should be able to log in to those accounts to find a copy of your return.

You can find your AGI on line 8b of the 2019 1040 federal tax form.

How do I find my AGI if I did not Would you like to file a tax return in 2019?

If you didn’t file federal taxes in 2019, you can find your AGI on your 2018 federal tax return. On the 2018 federal tax form 1040, it’s on line 7.


An IRS 1040 individual income tax form for the 2018 tax year. You can find your AGI on line 7.

Daniel Acker / Bloomberg / Getty Images

What if I don’t know where to find my federal tax return?

If you just can’t find your tax return, you can find your AGI in two ways:

Method 1: Go to the IRS ‘ Get transcript portal and choose Get transcript online. You will need your Social Security Number, date of birth, filing status and mailing address from your last tax return. You also need access to your email; your personal account number from a credit card, mortgage, mortgage loan, line of credit or car loan; and a cell phone with your name on the bill. Once your identity has been verified, select it Transcript of the tax return and use only the Adjusted gross income line feed. You can view or print your data here.

Method 2: If you do not have Internet access or the necessary identity verification documents, you can use the Get transcript portal and choose Receive a transcript by emailor call 1-800-908-9946 to request a copy of the tax return. It will take about five to 10 days to be delivered to you.

Will my AGI affect my family members?

If your AGI qualifies you for an incentive check and you claim dependents on your taxes, you can expect your last incentive payment to include money for your family members, who are cannot claim a stimulus check for themselves.

The total amount you could get for each dependent has not yet been decided. The latest White House proposal would give $ 1,000 per dependent child, while two previous proposals earmarked $ 500 per dependent, regardless of age. Another bill wanted to bring in $ 1,200 per dependent, with a maximum of three.

For more information, see if you qualified for a second stimulus check and when you might expect a second stimulus check. If you still haven’t received your first incentive payment, you can track the status of your stimulus check, to learn how to report your missing check to the IRS and find possible reasons why your stimulus check still hasn’t arrived.

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