Home Articles Do I pay income tax on my Social Security benefit?

Do I pay income tax on my Social Security benefit?

Once you know your combined income, you’ll be able to figure out how much of your Social Security benefit is taxable.

If the only income you have coming in is Social Security, you are not going to pay any income taxes on your Social Security. If all you have coming in is Social Security and a small amount of other income, you’re still not going to pay income taxes on your Social Security.

If you have substantial income in addition to your benefit, you will pay income tax on your Social Security. The amounts are as follows:

  • If you are filing as an “individual” and your combined income is:
    between $25,000 and $34,000, up to 50% of your benefit is taxable
    more than $34,000, up to 85% of your benefit is taxable
  • If you are filing as a joint return and your combined income is:
    between $32,000 and $44,000, up to 50% of your benefit is taxable
    more than $44,000, up to 85% of your benefit is taxable
  • If you are married filing separately, you probably will pay taxes on your benefit

As you can see the numbers vary based on if you are filing individually or jointly.

If you are filing as a married filing separately, you will pay tax on your Social Security benefits. One starting Social Security, we have many clients change to a joint return to keep more of their check. We can help you evaluate your situation and see if this switch would be beneficial for you.

It is important to note, when it says that “up to 50% of your benefit is taxable”, that does not mean your Social Security is being taxed at a 50% rate. This means that only 50% of your benefit is able to be taxed at the rate that you fall into. You can learn more about tax brackets here. 

It is also important to note that this means 50% of your benefit is tax free. Even if you are in the top income bracket with 85% taxable, 15% of your Social Security income is always going to be tax free.


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Finishing Well
Finishing Wellhttps://www.cardinalguide.com/finishing-well/
Retirement planning involves a lot more than just managing your money. This show is the complete guide to planning for and living in retirement, helping families finish well. Host Hans Scheil will discuss a new topic every week ranging from Social Security and Medicare to IRAs and taxes. Follow along each week by downloading the corresponding chapters below for free! New episodes air: Finishing Well Schedule on Truth Network
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