Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Adjustments to Income

Introduction

Adjustments to Income on Form 1040

To identify the adjustments to income that a taxpayer can claim, you will need to ask the taxpayers if they had the types of expenses listed on the Adjusted Gross Income section of the tax return.

Be sure to ask if, during the tax year, the taxpayer or spouse:

  • Had any expenses as an educator
  • Received income from self-employment
  • Paid a penalty for early withdrawal of savings
  • Paid alimony
  • Made contributions to a traditional IRA
  • Paid student loan interest
  • Paid college tuition
  • Received income from jury duty that was turned over to an employer

There are other adjustments to income on Form 1040, such as self-employed health insurance deduction, self-employed SEP, SIMPLE, and qualified plans, and domestic production activities deductions. The other adjustments to income on Form 1040 are beyond the scope of the VITA/TCE programs. Encourage taxpayers who might be able to benefit from other adjustments to consult a professional tax preparer.

A specialty course on health savings accounts is available on Link & Learn Taxes for volunteers with a Basic certification or higher—this course is optional. Check with your Site Coordinator to determine whether you should be certified in this topic.