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Social Security Benefits: Find Out If You Need To File Tax Return This Year

Tax Filing
Tax Filing; Source- CNBC

The IRS said that the first official day the IRS will start accepting and processing tax returns is January 29. This marks the beginning of tax season. It’s possible that you must file taxes this year if you get Social Security benefits. The IRS tax return filing requirements vary depending on your age, marital status, and amount of income earned outside of Social Security payments. Furthermore, filing may be a good idea even if you aren’t compelled to do so if you wish to get a refund of income taxes you paid throughout the year or refundable tax credits.


Social Security Benefit

Social Security Benefit; Source- USA TODAY

Tax Liability Calculation

The base amount of your filing status (the amount used to calculate your tax liability) is $25,000 for single filers, head of household, or qualifying surviving spouses; $25,000 for married individuals filing separately who did not live with their spouse in 2023; $32,000 for married couples filing jointly; and $0 for married individuals filing separately who did live with their spouse. If one-half of your Social Security benefits plus all other sources of income exceeds this amount, your benefits may be taxable. Wages, self-employment, interest, dividends, and other declared taxable income are examples of other sources of income.

Taxable Social Security Benefits

Examining your gross income that is, your total earnings before taxes can help you determine if your benefits are taxable. For the 2024 tax year, the following return must be filed if you are a 65-year-old senior who is single and earns more than $14,700 per year in gross income. If your gross income exceeds $28,700 and you are filing a combined return having a spouse who is likewise 65 or older. If you make more than $27,300 in gross income and you are filing a combined return alongside a spouse who is under 65. Looking at combined income, that is your adjusted gross income plus nontaxable interest plus half of your Social Security benefits, is another technique to determine if your benefits are taxable.

According to the SSA, if you file as a single and your total income ranges from $25,000 to $34,000, you can be required to pay income tax on as much as 50% of your benefits. Income tax may be due on up to 85% of your benefits if you file as a single and your total income exceeds $34,000. You may be required to pay income tax on a maximum of fifty percent of your benefits if you are submitting joint returns and your joint income ranges from $32,000 to $44,000. If your total income exceeds $44,000 and you are filing a joint return, you may be required to pay income tax on as much as 85% of your benefits.

Your Social Security benefits are subject to taxation as though you were a single filer if you are married submitting separately and did not reside with your spouse in the previous year. In most cases, taxes on benefits will need to be paid if you are married and file separately while cohabiting with your spouse. Getting a tax refund is the main incentive to file the return taxes even if you don’t have to. You might wish to file the return of taxes this year if you made anticipated tax payments in 2023 or if federal tax income was withheld from your wages. Any excess withholding taxes may be refunded to you.



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