Hi, I'm Thomas and I work for the IRS.
One of the most frequent questions the IRS gets every year is "are my Social Security benefits taxable?"
The answer is not a simple yes or no.
If Social Security is your only income during the year, then generally, your payments are not taxable.
On the other hand, if you have additional income, here's a quick way, to estimate if you will have to include Social Security payments as income on your tax return.
Take one half of the total amount of Social Security you collected during the year and add it to your other income.
Your other income includes, for example, pensions, wages, interest, dividends, and capital gains.
If you are single and your total is $25,000 or more, then part of your Social Security benefits may be taxable.
If you are married filing jointly, use the same calculation for both you and your spouse.
In other words, take half of your Social Security, half of your spouse's social security, and add that to your combined income.
If that sum is more than $32,000, then part of your Social Security payments may be taxable.
However, if you are married filing separately, then part of your Social Security payments may be taxable, regardless of the sum.
There are many factors that can affect this calculation.
To learn more, download Publication 915 at www.irs.gov.