Are My Social Security Benefits Taxable?

Marken Law Group, PS, has helped hundreds navigate the Social Security Administration and obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

Many clients ask me if Social Security benefits are taxable and my answer is yes!… and no. There are a lot of “answers” on the internet but I provide the answer from Social Security itself! The link is direct to Social Security’s website regarding taxable benefits. The majority of the note is also below. Essentially, if you file your taxes as single person and all benefits/income is less than $25,000 you wont pay taxes on your benefits. If you are married or filing jointly and your income is below $32,000.00, you wont pay taxes on your benefits. Always talk to a tax professional to estimate your tax payment, if any is due.

Below is Social Security’s own statement:

Some people have to pay federal income taxes on their Social Security benefits. This usually happens only if you have other substantial income (such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income that must be reported on your tax return) in addition to your benefits.

No one pays federal income tax on more than 85 percent of his or her Social Security benefits based on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules. If you:

  • file a federal tax return as an “individual” and your combined income *is
    • between $25,000 and $34,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits.
    • more than $34,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable.
  • file a joint return, and you and your spouse have a combined income *that is
    • between $32,000 and $44,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits
    • more than $44,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable.
  • are married and file a separate tax return, you probably will pay taxes on your benefits.
Your adjusted gross income
+ Nontaxable interest
½ of your Social Security benefits
= Your ” combined income 

Each January you will receive a Social Security Benefit Statement (Form SSA-1099) showing the amount of benefits you received in the previous year. You can use this Benefit Statement when you complete your federal income tax return to find out if your benefits are subject to tax.

If you do have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefits, you can make quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS or choose to have federal taxes withheld from your benefits.

Marken Law Group, PS, does not obtain a fee unless we get you the benefits you deserve! Call today!