Do I Pay Taxes On My Social Security Income?



Total Income




To determine if your social security benefits are taxable you need to know your total income. This is called your provisional income and includes any type of income from any source. You should include any tax-exempt income plus half your income from social security when figuring your provisional income.

Determining Your Taxes

Once you know your provisional income, compare it to the base and additional income guidelines.
Filing Status Base Income Additional Income
Single $25,000 $34,000
Head of Household $25,000 $34,000
Married Filing Jointly $32,000 $44,000
Married Filing Separately $0
Qualifying Widower $25,000 $34,000

Simply put, if your provisional income is less than the base amount for your filing status, then you owe no taxes on your social security benefits. 50 % of your social security is subject to taxes if your income is between the base amount and the additional amount. You will have to pay taxes on 85% of your benefits if your income exceeds the additional amount for your filing status.

You may want to check the government guidelines if your filing status is Married Filing Separately as there are a couple different possibilities that could apply.

Additional Information

The instructions for Form 1040, Form 1040A as well as Publication 915 all have worksheets to help you determine the taxes on your social security income. You may be interested in checking out these resources as well:


Tax Topic 423, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits
Publication 554, Tax Information For Older Americans
Taxes and Your Social Security Benefits (Social Security website)

Related posts:

  1. Which States Tax Social Security Benefits?
  2. Do I Need To File Government Taxes If My Business Earned No Income?
  3. What is Provision for Income Taxes?
  4. Is Inheritance Money Considered Income on the Government Taxes?
  5. What Is The Minimum Income To File Income Tax?



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