Tag Archives: social security

Social Security Benefits May Be Taxable

What do you mean my Social Security Benefits are taxable??

We hear this question often, and much to many’s dismay — yes, Social Security Benefits can indeed be taxable. A recent tax tip from the IRS broke down this phenomenon.

  • Form SSA-1099.  If you received Social Security benefits in 2015, you should receive a Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, showing the amount of your benefits.
  • Only Social Security.  If Social Security was your only income in 2015, your benefits may not be taxable. You also may not need to file a federal income tax return. If you get income from other sources you may have to pay taxes on some of your benefits.
  • Tax Formula.  Here’s a quick way to find out if you must pay taxes on your Social Security benefits: Add one-half of your Social Security to all your other income, including tax-exempt interest. Then compare the total to the base amount for your filing status. If your total is more than the base amount, some of your benefits may be taxable.
  • Base Amounts.  The three base amounts are:
    • $25,000 – if you are single, head of household, qualifying widow or widower with a dependent child or married filing separately and lived apart from your spouse for all of 2015
    • $32,000 – if you are married filing jointly
    • $0 – if you are married filing separately and lived with your spouse at any time during the year

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.

Additional IRS Resources:

Retirement age?

A question that comes up often is, “What is my normal retirement age?” A great question!

The Social Security Administration has a “Retirement Planner: Benefits By Year Of Birth” anyone can refer to for that answer. We definitely recommend visiting the site and looking through all the information regarding how your age affects retirement benefits.

A quick glance at at what you’ll find on that page is below.

Retirement
1. If you were born on January 1st, you should refer to the previous year. 2. If you were born on the 1st of the month, we figure your benefit (and your full retirement age) as if your birthday was in the previous month. If you were born on January 1st, we figure your benefit (and your full retirement age) as if your birthday was in December of the previous year. 3. You must be at least 62 for the entire month to receive benefits. 4. Percentages are approximate due to rounding. 5. The maximum benefit for the spouse is 50% of the benefit the worker would receive at full retirement age. The % reduction for the spouse should be applied after the automatic 50% reduction. Percentages are approximate due to rounding.

 

 

 

Get a Replacement Medicare Card on mySocial Security

Sometimes things get lost and they’re not easy to replace. Luckily, that’s not the case when it comes to your Medicare card! You can now get a replacement Medicare card using your online mySocial Security account. This is the newest feature to my Social Security they continue their work to improve its functionality and convenience.

Your Medicare card is the most important piece of identification you have as a Medicare beneficiary. Simply, it’s proof that you have Medicare health insurance. Medical professionals and insurance companies need this proof to provide you with accurate care and compensation.

If your card is lost or damaged, and you are currently entitled to Medicare, you will need to order a replacement card. To do so you need to simply access your online my Social Security account and select the “Replacement Documents” tab.

Then select “Mail my replacement Medicare card.”

After you request a card, it will arrive in the mail in about 30 days.

More than 18 million people use my Social Security because it’s the easiest way to access their personal Social Security information they need to plan for retirement.

My Social Security helps you do the following tasks:

  •  Keep track of your earnings and verifying them every year
  • Get an estimate of your future benefits if you’re still working
  • Get a letter with proof of your benefits if you currently receive them;
  • Manage your benefits
  • Change your address
  • Start or change your direct deposit
  • Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.

Opening a my Social Security account takes only a few minutes, and it’s safe and easy. After your account is open, you can request a replacement Medicare card immediately — there’s no need to call or visit a Social Security office.

Name changes and your tax return

What You Should Know if You Changed Your Name

Did you change your name last year? If you did, it can affect your taxes. All the names on your tax return must match Social Security Administration records. A name mismatch can delay your refund.

Here’s what you should know if you changed your name:

  • Report Name Changes.  Did you get married and are now using your new spouse’s last name or hyphenated your last name? Did you divorce and go back to using your former last name? In either case, you should notify the SSA of your name change. That way, your new name on your IRS records will match up with your SSA records.
  • Dependent Name Change.  Notify the SSA if your dependent had a name change. For example, this could apply if you adopted a child and the child’s last name changed.

If you adopted a child who does not have a SSN, you may use an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number on your tax return. An ATIN is a temporary number. You can apply for an ATIN by filing Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions, with the IRS.

You can visit IRS.gov to view, download, print or order the form at any time.

Get a New Card.  File Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, to notify SSA of your name change. You can get the form on SSA.gov or call 800-772-1213 to order it. Your new card will show your new name with the same SSN you had before.

Report Changes in Circumstances in 2015.  If you purchase health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace you may get advance payments of the premium tax credit in 2015. If you do, be sure to report changes in circumstances, such as a name change, a new address and a change in your income or family size to your Marketplace throughout the year. Reporting changes will help make sure that you get the proper type and amount of financial assistance and will help you avoid getting too much or too little in advance.

Social Security Announces New Online Service for Replacement SSA-1099s

Available to Recipients with a my Social Security Account

Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, today announced the agency is expanding the online services available at www.socialsecurity.gov. Social Security beneficiaries are now able to quickly and easily obtain a replacement SSA-1099 from the agency’s website with a my Social Security account.

“I am proud of our continued efforts to make it even easier for people to do business with us in a way that’s convenient for them, from the comfort of their home, office, or a library,” Acting Commissioner Colvin said. “Beginning this tax season, any my Social Securityaccount holder who misplaces their original SSA-1099 will be able to request an instant replacement from our menu of online services.”

Social Security sends SSA-1099s each January to everyone who receives Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits paid in the previous year and is used for tax purposes. Previously, people who lost their SSA-1099 had to call or visit a Social Security office to get a replacement or request one be mailed to them. With this new online service, people now only need to create a my Social Security account, or log into their existing one. Once there, they can view and print their SSA-1099 or request to have a new one mailed to them—all online.

my Social Security is a secure, online account people use beginning in their working years and continuing throughout the time they receive Social Security benefits. Once the account is created, it is used by people who are working to keep track of their earnings and to get estimates of future benefits. People already receiving benefits manage them with their account—changing their address, starting or changing direct deposit, getting a benefit verification letter, and more. In addition to those existing services, beneficiaries will now be able to immediately get their SSA-1099 replaced without needing to call or visit an office and often wait for a replacement form in the mail.

“Setting up a my Social Security account is quick, easy, and secure; plus it’s a great way to do business with Social Security,” Acting Commissioner Colvin said.  “That’s why more than 16 million people have already taken advantage of our award-winning online services and experienced the new features available with their own accounts.”

In fact, a new my Social Security account is created every six seconds.  For more information, please go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Social Security benefits and taxes

Commonly asked question:
Do I have to pay taxes on my Social Security benefits?

Answer:

Social Security benefits include monthly retirement, survivor and disability benefits. They do not include supplemental security income (SSI) payments, which are not taxable. The amount of Social Security benefits that must be included on your income tax return and used to calculate your income tax liability depends on the total amount of your income and benefits for the taxable year.

To find out whether any of your benefits may be taxable, compare the base amount for your filing status with the total of:

  • One-half of your benefits.
  • All of your other income, including tax-exempt interest.

The base amount for your filing status is:

  • $25,000 if you are single, head of household or qualifying widow(er),
  • $25,000 if you are married filing separately and lived apart from your spouse for the entire year,
  • $32,000 if you are married filing jointly,
  • $0 if you are married filing separately and lived with your spouse at any time during the tax year.

If you are married and file a joint return, you and your spouse must combine your incomes and Social Security benefits when figuring the taxable portion of your benefits. Even if your spouse did not receive any benefits, you must add your spouse’s income to yours when figuring on a joint return if any of your benefits are taxable.

Are Social Security Benefits Taxable?

Are Social Security benefits taxable? Depends on your individual situation! Some people must pay taxes on part of their Social Security benefits. Others find that their benefits are not taxable.

Here are a notes about how Social Security affects your taxes:

  • If you received these benefits in 2013, you should have received a Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, showing the amount.
  • If Social Security was your only source of income in 2013, your benefits may not be taxable. You also may not even need to file a federal income tax return.
  • If you get income from other sources, then you may have to pay taxes on some of your benefits.
  • Your income and filing status affect whether you must pay taxes on your Social Security.
  • A quick way to find out if any of your benefits may be taxable is to add one-half of your Social Security benefits to all your other income, including any tax-exempt interest. Next, compare this total to the base amounts below. If your total is more than the base amount for your filing status, then some of your benefits may be taxable. The three base amounts are:
    • $25,000 – for single, head of household, qualifying widow or widower with a dependent child or married individuals filing separately who did not live with their spouse at any time during the year
    • $32,000 -for married couples filing jointly
    • $0 – for married persons filing separately who lived together at any time during the year


For more on this topic visit IRS.gov.