Do I need to report my Social Security benefits?

Depending upon your total income, social security benefits may be considered taxable income either entirely or in part. If you receive social security benefits and are required to file a tax return, you must include all the income that you receive on your return. If social security is your only source of income then you are probably not required to file a tax return. However, some taxpayers must still file even if none of their social security benefits are taxable. In other cases, it may be advantageous to file a return even if you are not required to do so.

If you receive social security benefits and have additional sources of income, you may have to pay taxes on the social security income you received during the tax year. 

If you are using and wish to see whether you are required to file a return or not simply enter your personal information, the income you received last year along with any deductions. The software will help to determine if there is a taxable amount due requiring you to file a return.

The extent to which these benefits are taxable depends on your total income. If you receive social security benefits as well as other income, the taxability of your benefits is governed by your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). You can calculate your MAGI by adding one half of the amount you receive in social security benefits to the full amount of your other income. 

If your MAGI is more than $25,000 (more than $32,000 if you are filing a joint return with your spouse) then part of your benefits are considered taxable income.  

Now, all of your benefits are taxable if you are married filing separately and you lived with your spouse during any part of the tax year.

For any other filing status except married filing separately, you will only have to pay taxes on the entire amount of your social security benefits if your MAGI is above the threshold.

In additional to your federal return, your state may or may not tax your social security. As with federal taxes though, if this is your only source of income, then you may not need to file a state tax return.

For more information on how retirement may impact your taxes and or if you will need to file a return, visit our article here –