How & if Social Security Benefits are Taxed?


Annual Benefit Statements

Each January you will receive a Social Security Benefit Statement 1099 showing the amount of benefits you received in the previous year.

You can use this Benefit Statement when you complete your federal income tax return to find out if your benefits are subject to tax.  See publication # 915 for details.  It’s on your right or if on smartphone, scroll down.

ssa 1099 how much social security is taxable?

Your Social Security Benefits May be Taxable

If you receive Social Security benefits, you may have to pay federal income tax on part of your benefits. These IRS tips will help you determine if you need to pay taxes on your benefits.

  • 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.
  • Free File. Use IRS Free File to prepare and e-file your tax return for free. If you earned $62,000 or less, you can use brand-name software. The software does the math for you and helps avoid mistakes. If you earned more, you can use Free File Fillable Forms. This option uses electronic versions of IRS paper forms. It’s best for people who are used to doing their own taxes. Free File is available only by going to
  • Interactive Tax Assistant. You can get answers to your tax questions with this helpful tool and see if any of your benefits are taxable. Visit and use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool.
  • 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

See also publication 915 Social Security Benefits

Covered CA Subsidies – MAGI Income – Social Security?  

Retirement Benefits # 10035

Social Security Retirement Benefits # 10035

Retirement Check List # 10377


Social Security
Understanding the Benefits # 10024
25 pages

social security understanding the benefits

Set up an ONLINE Social Security Account - You also need it to get enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B

How Social Security Can Help you Plan for Retirement
30 minutes

Social Security Original Poster
History of Social Security 

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