The Internal Revenue Service found that adjusted gross income decreased in 2009 for the second year in a row, as unemployment compensation continued to increase as a source of income.

The adjusted gross income, less deficit, reported on tax returns for tax year 2009 totaled $7.6 trillion, a 7.7 percent decrease from the previous year, which also fell from the prior year. In tax year 2008, AGI less deficit totaled $8.3 trillion, a 4.9 percent decrease from the previous year.

“Only four income items increased during 2009,” wrote Justin Bryan in the Fall 2011 Statistics of Income Bulletin, released by the IRS on Friday. “These items were unemployment compensation, farm net income (less loss), taxable Social Security benefits, and taxable pensions and annuities, which increased 91.3 percent, 5.1 percent, 3.9 percent, and 3.4 percent, respectively. This was the third year in row of large increases in taxable unemployment compensation.”

The AGI declines and prevalence of unemployment income were just two indicators of the effect of the recession on U.S. incomes in the IRS report. The report also found that many items decreased appreciably during 2009, including sales of property other than capital assets, total rental and royalty net income and ordinary dividends. Taxable income decreased 10 percent from 2008, to $5.1 trillion.

The IRS also saw a decrease of 1.4 percent in the number of tax returns filed, with taxpayers filing 140.5 million returns in 2009 compared to 142.5 million in tax year 2008.

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