Calculating your taxable income is a straightforward process that involves subtracting deductions from your gross income and then applying the corresponding tax category to determine your tax liability. To get started, you'll need to know your tax filing status, add up all your sources of income, and then subtract any deductions to determine the amount of your taxable income. When preparing your tax return, it's important to understand how the tax law views your income and how to calculate taxable income. To do this, you'll need to start with your household's adjusted gross income (AGI), which is your total (or “gross) income for the tax year minus certain adjustments you can make.
Once you've calculated your AGI, you can subtract any deductions you qualify for (whether itemized or standard) to calculate taxable income. Then, you'll apply the corresponding tax category (based on income and marital tax status) to calculate the tax liability. It's also important to note that some credits are refundable, meaning you can get paid for them even if you don't owe any income tax. Additionally, some states have property rules that require married couples who file separate returns to combine certain income and expenses owned by both spouses and then divide income and expenses equally on the returns.
Income in the United States is taxed by the federal government, most state governments, and many local governments. The federal personal income tax administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the largest source of income for U. S. states.