Hello again whorl,
The problem is that there really are no stand alone deductions that reduce your MAGI. It really works in almost the opposite way, in the sense that the items I listed earlier actually increase your MAGI.
In other words, you start out with using your regular adjusted gross income, and then you must add to that any of the above listed items that you may have claimed a deduction for. There is nothing that you can deduct that will reduce your MAGI, unless you can reduce your regular AGI.
The only way to actually reduce your MAGI is to reduce your regular AGI, which basically means having less income from wages, or a loss from self employment or other non passive business activities, or having less interest income to report, or less of any income to report.
Some of the items you mentioned earlier such as mortgage interest, medical expenses, charitable contributions, etc. -- those are all part of your itemized deductions and have nothing to do with reducing your MAGI.
If you look at Form 1040, look at the very first page which goes through line 37. It is only items listed on that first page which figure in to your MAGI. You would basically take the amount on line 37 and then add back in any of the above deductions. Any deductions taken on page 3 of the Form 1040 do not qualify.
Most of the deductions you take are things that compromise your itemized deductions, and they have no effect whatsoever on reducing your MAGI. They only reduce your taxable income
, which is not the same thing.
Thank you whorl.