Even for this time of year, I have received far more questions about taxes and Social Security over the last month than usual. Most of the following has appeared here before within separate posts. Today I intend to restate and summarize tax related questions so they are located in one place. Social Security Administration employees cannot provide tax advice.
Q: How can I replace the SSA-1099 for 2011?
A: Request a replacement SSA-1099 online at www.socialsecurity.gov. Start at the “Top Services” section of the homepage. Go to “services for people already receiving benefits”, then to “Get a Form 1099”and follow the simple instructions. The 1099 is not seen when requesting a replacement. You will not be able to print it from your computer.
The replacement SSA-1099 will arrive in about 10 days at your address on file with Social Security. If you recently changed your mailing address, call the Social Security national toll-free number, 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778) to report your new mailing address and request a replacement Form SSA-1099 at the same time.
At “services for people already receiving benefits” you can also request a replacement Medicare card or a letter to verify the amount of your Social Security benefit.
This was originally posted at the beginning of March, far in advance of tax deadlines. Since we are now in April, I hope this information is no longer needed.
Q: Are my Social Security benefits taxable?
A: About one-third of people who receive Social Security retirement, survivors or disability benefits have to pay federal taxes on their benefits.
Generally, you have to pay federal taxes on part of your SSA benefits if you file a federal tax return as an individual and your total income is more than $25,000. If filing a joint return, you have to pay these taxes if you and your spouse have a total income that is more than $32,000. If paying income tax on your Social Security benefits, you might pay tax on up to either up to 50 percent or up to 85 percent of your SSA.
No one pays income tax on more than 85 percent of his or her SSA benefits based on IRS rules.
See http://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/taxes.htm for more about taxation of SSA benefits. Also see IRS Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits and IRS Publication 554, Tax Guide for Seniors.
Note: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are not taxable.
Q: Are taxes withheld from Social Security benefits?
A: Federal taxes are not routinely withheld from Social Security benefits. You can request withholding.
Q: How do I arrange to have Federal taxes withheld from my SSA benefits?
A: Complete Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form W-4V and return it to your local Social Security office to start voluntary tax withholding. To change or end an ongoing voluntary withholding you would complete another form W-4V. You can do this as needed during the year.
Withholding is by your selected percentage of monthly benefits, not a flat dollar amount. When completing the W-4V you select the percentage of benefits for tax withholding. Available options are to have 7 percent, 10 percent, 15 percent or 25 percent of your monthly benefit withheld.
Voluntary withholding is for Federal taxes only. The Social Security Administration has no authority to withhold state or local taxes from your benefit.
Social Security employees cannot provide tax advice. Discuss questions with your tax preparer or call IRS at 1-800-829-3676 (TTY 1-800-829-4059).