I'm working through my federal 1040 and form 6251. For line 29 on form 6251, there's a worksheet in the instructions (pg 10) that asks for earned income on line 8.

Since line 2 of that worksheet asks for what ends up being mostly my adjusted gross income from 1040, I'm wondering whether earned income is something like gig or contract work (something that I'd need to report, separate from box 1 on my W2).

What confusing me is that the first sentence in the instructions for line 8 say:

Earned income includes wages, tips, and other amounts received for personal services performed.

Sounds like W2 stuff, but, again - already kinda entered that.


First you compute your exemption amount using the regular rule, using your AMTI. Then, if you qualify as one of “certain children under age 24”, then you compute the minimum exemption as earned income + 7400. AMTI may be equal to earned income for you, but it certainly isn’t for many people.

  • You calling out "certain children under age 24" influenced me to take another look at the form. I realized that line 6 on the worksheet I referenced is where I should have stopped. I interpreted "If zero or less, enter -0-." as the place I should stop reading the instructions for that line, when, if I had continued reading, I would have seen the rest of the instructions saying under what conditions to go through the rest of the form (none of those conditions applied to me). May 5 '19 at 17:01

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