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.

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