The tax process starts with income, and generally, most income received is taxable. A taxpayer’s gross income includes income from work, investments, interest, pensions, as well as other sources. The income from all these sources is added together to arrive at the taxpayers’ gross income.
What’s not considered income? Gifts, inheritances, workers’ compensation benefits, welfare benefits, or cash rebates from a dealer or manufacturer.3
From gross income, adjustments are subtracted. These adjustments may include retirement plan contributions, half of self-employment, and moving expenses, among other items.
The result is the adjusted gross income.
From adjusted gross income, deductions are subtracted. With deductions, taxpayers have two choices: the standard deduction or itemized deductions. The standard deduction amount varies based on filing status, as shown on this chart:
Chart source: IRS.gov, 2019