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Your AGI is crucial to your second stimulus check. We’ll show you where to find it on your taxes.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The second stimulus check is already starting to hit Americans’ bank accounts, with payments of up to $600 per eligible adult and child dependent arriving through Jan. 15 by direct deposit, mailed check or EIP card. The payments are part of the $900 billion COVID relief package signed into law by President Donald Trump on Dec. 27. 

Similar to the first round of stimulus money sent in spring 2020, the amount of money you receive in this second stimulus check is largely based on a calculation drawn from your taxes called your adjusted gross income, or AGI. (Try our stimulus check calculator tool to estimate your potential payment.)  

Below is our guide to understanding what your AGI is, how to find it and how it determines your second stimulus check payment. There are other details to keep in mind as well, such as what your IRS priority group is and what happens if you’re on SSI or SSDI. CNET also has explanations to help understand what happens to your stimulus payment if you’re an older adult, if you have dependents, if you’re a young adult or if you pay or receive child support. We also have an explanation of who might not be eligible for a second stimulus payment at all, and who can potentially garnish or take your second payment, to help you figure out what you should expect.

What is my AGI and what does it mean for my second stimulus check?

Your AGI is your adjusted gross income — an amount calculated from 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 distributions. 

After you subtract allowable deductions from your gross income (like student loan interest, 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. 

Since it’s a rough estimate of how much money you’re bringing in after deductions from all your streams of income, the IRS used your AGI to calculate how much of the first stimulus check of up to $1,200 you could get. The second stimulus check also uses your AGI to determine who gets up to $600 apiece, too


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How can my AGI help me find out how much money I will get with the second payment?

The amount of money you can get from the second stimulus check depends on your AGI, your filing status (single versus joint) and how many dependents you have. You can check out our story on how to calculate how much money you’d get from a second stimulus check for some examples of how it will break down for you, depending on your situation. 

As long as you meet the other stimulus check qualifications, single taxpayers with a Social Security number and an AGI under $75,000 are set to receive the full amount of $600. As your AGI goes up, the amount you’re eligible for decreases. If your AGI is $87,000 or above, as a single taxpayer you will no longer be eligible for the stimulus check (this is down from a $99,000 cutoff for the first check).

If you’re filing as head of a household (that means you claim at least one child dependent), you’d get the full $600 check if your AGI is $112,500 or less. And if you’re a married couple filing jointly without children and your AGI is below $150,000, you’d get a $1,200 payment. That amount would decrease until you hit $174,000 (that figure was $198,000 in the first check). 

How can I figure out what my AGI is if I filed my taxes in 2019?

If you filed your 2019 federal tax return, pull out your printed records or PDF. If you used tax-filing software like TurboTax or H&R Block, you should be able to log in to those accounts to find a copy of your return. 

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

How do I figure out my AGI if I did not file my taxes 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 1040 federal tax form, it’s on line 7. 

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An IRS 1040 Individual Income Tax form for the 2018 tax year. You’ll find your AGI on line 7.


Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images

What if I can’t find my federal tax return at all?

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’ll need your Social Security number, date of birth, filing status and mailing address from your latest tax return. You’ll also need access to your email; your personal account number from a credit card, mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit or car loan; and a mobile phone with your name on the account. Once your identity is verified, select the Tax Return Transcript and use only the Adjusted Gross Income line entry. You’ll be able to view or print your information here. 

Method 2: If you don’t have internet access or the necessary identity verification documents, you can use the Get Transcript portal and choose Get Transcript by Mail, or call 1-800-908-9946 to request a Tax Return Transcript. It takes about five to 10 days to be delivered to you. 

Will my AGI impact my dependents?

If your AGI makes you eligible for a stimulus check and you claim dependents on your taxes, you can expect your final stimulus payment to include $600 for each of your qualified child dependents, who are unable to claim a stimulus check for themselves. There is no cap on the number of dependents you can claim under 17 years old. 

For more information, find out if you’re qualified for a second stimulus check and when you could expect a second stimulus check.



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