If you received social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits as your only income during the tax year your benefits may not be taxable and it may not be necessary to file a tax return.
If you received other income your benefits will not be taxable unless your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is more than the base amount for your filing status. If you have income in addition to your benefits you may need to file a return even if none of your benefits are taxable.
If there are any taxable benefits they must be included in the gross income of the person who has legal right to receive them. If you and your child both received benefits but the check for your child was made out in your name you must use only your portion of the benefits to figure if any part is taxable to you. When calculating your child’s taxable benefits half of the portion that belongs to your child must be added to your child’s other income to determine if any of those benefits are taxable to your child.
If you are married filing a joint return you and your spouse must combine your incomes social security benefits and equivalent railroad retirement benefits when figuring the taxable portion of your benefits. When your file a joint return you must add your spouse’s income to yours when figuring if any of your benefits are taxable even if your spouse did not receive any benefits.
Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 should have arrived by early February for the benefits paid in the previous calendar year. This form will show the benefits paid to the person who has the legal right to receive them and the amount of any benefits you repaid. Amounts by which benefits were reduced because you received worker’s compensation benefits will also be shown.
You may request to have additional withholding from other income or pay estimated tax during the year if any part of your social security or equivalent railroad benefits will be taxable in the current tax year. You may also choose to have income tax withheld from your social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits.
If you need additional information on how certain benefits will affect your yearly taxes schedule a consultation with Lindemeyer for a complete assessment.