Social Security Benefits and Taxes

Some recipients of Social Security benefits may be subject to taxes on the income received. Since some taxpayers find that their benefits aren’t taxable, the IRS is the best place to go to determine which benefits you will be responsible for paying taxes on.

Anyone who received Social Security benefits for the current tax year will obtain a Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, which will provide the total amount of benefits.

The simple way to determine if your benefits are taxable is to relate them to other sources of income. If Social Security was the only source of income you grossed throughout the tax year, then it’s likely that the benefits won’t be taxed. Also, you may not be required to file a tax return at all. However, if you received income from other sources, you’ll probably have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefits. Your income and filing status also affect whether your benefits are taxable.

An equation for determining which benefits are taxable:

Add half of your Social Security benefits to the rest of your income, including tax-exempt interest. You can compare this amount to the information below. If the amount you total is greater than the threshold for your filing status, it’s likely that your benefits will be taxable.

Single, HOH, Qualifying Widow(er), Married Filing Separately (who did not live with the spouse at any point during the year$25,000

Married Filing Jointly – $32,000

Married Filing Separately (but lived together during the year) – $0