2005-03-04 / Columnists

Social Security And You

By James Glasser, Manager, Far Rockaway Social Security Center


James Glasser
James Glasser 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. (Note: “Combined income” means adjusted gross income, plus nontaxable interest, plus one-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.

For more information on taxation of Social Security benefits, call the IRS’s toll-free telephone number, 1-800-829-3676, to ask for Publication 554, Tax Information for Older Americans. The Publication is also available from the IRS Web site, www.irs. ustreas.gov.

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