Income Taxes and Your Social Security Benefits
David Vinokurov, District Manager, Trenton, NJ, Social Security Administration
With tax season upon us, many of you have asked about Income Taxes And Your Social Security Benefits. 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.
Note: 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.
How can I get a form SSA-1099/1042S, Social Security Benefit Statement?
An SSA-1099 is a tax form we mail each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits you received from Social Security in the previous year so you know how much Social Security income to report to IRS on your tax return.
If you are a noncitizen who lives outside of the United States and you received or repaid Social Security benefits last year, we will send you form SSA-1042S instead.
Note: The forms SSA-1099 and SSA-1042S are not available for people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
If you currently live in the United States and you need a replacement form SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S, we have a new way for you to get an instant replacement quickly and easily beginning February 1st by:
- Using your online my Social Security account. If you don’t already have an account, you can create one online. Go to Sign In or Create an Account. Once you are logged in to your account, select the “Replacement Documents” tab;
- Calling us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; or
- If you live outside of the United States and you need a replacement form SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S, please contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- 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.
- For more information about taxation of benefits, see IRS Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits.
- my Social Security is the site where people age 18 and older who have a work history may check their annual Social Security earnings.
Withholding Income Tax From Your Social Security Benefits
You can ask us to withhold federal taxes from your Social Security when you apply for benefits.
If you are already receiving benefits or if you want to change or stop your withholding, you’ll need a form W-4V from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
You can download the form, or call the IRS toll-free number 1-800-829-3676 and ask for Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request. (If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call the IRS TTY number, 1-800-829-4059.)
When you complete the form, you will need to select the percentage of your monthly benefit amount you want withheld. You can have 7%, 10%, 15% or 25% of your monthly benefit withheld for taxes.
Note: Only these percentages can be withheld. Flat dollar amounts are not accepted.
Sign the form and return it to your local Social Security office by mail or in person.
If you need more information
If you need more information about tax withholding, read IRS Publication 554, Tax Guide for Seniors, and Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits.
If you have questions about your tax liability or want to request a Form W-4V, you can also call the IRS at 1-800-829-3676 (TTY 1-800-829-4059).