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Social Security Benefits May be Subject to Income Tax

Posted on January 10, 2006 by Knight Ridder, Tribune News Service,  Anthony Renzoni

With tax season upon us, it is important to remember that some people who receive Social Security benefits will have to pay income taxes on them. At the end of each year, Social Security mails each beneficiary a Social Security benefit statement (Form SSA-1099) showing the amount of benefits received. This statement can be used when completing the federal income tax return. Fifty percent of Social Security benefits may be subject to income tax for individuals with a combined income between $25,000 and $34,000, or for couples with a combined income between $32,000 and $44,000. Combined income means adjusted gross income, plus nontaxable interest, plus half of Social Security benefits. Up to 85 percent of Social Security benefits may be subject to income tax for individuals with a combined income above $34,000, or for couples with a combined income above $44,000. Only about 25 percent of current Social Security beneficiaries have incomes that exceed the thresholds, requiring them to pay taxes on a portion of their Social Security benefits.

If you would like more information on taxation of Social Security benefits, call the IRS’ toll-free telephone number, 1-800-829-3676, and ask for “Publication 554, Tax Information for Older Americans.” You can also visit for a copy of the publication.

SS Information

If you are among the growing number of Americans who spend part of their career working outside the United States, you may wonder what effect this could have on your Social Security taxes and benefits. The United States has Social Security agreements with more than 20 countries. These agreements can help you avoid double taxation while working abroad and also help protect your future benefit rights. For further details, visit

Reaching full retirement age? – If you will reach full retirement age this year and have not filed a Social Security application, we can provide you with information that will be helpful in determining when to file an application. Mail us the following information:

  • Your name.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • Previous year’s earnings.
  • Estimated current year earnings.
  • Complete mailing address.
  • Telephone number (both home and work).
  • Date of birth. If you plan to retire this year, month in which you would.
  • Spouse’s Social Security number.
  • Spouse’s date of birth.
  • If spouse is deceased, give date of death.

Always consult with an experienced social security disability professional when you need help getting your disability benefits.

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