Are my Social Security or railroad retirement tier I benefits taxable?


ITA home

This interview will help you determine whether any of your benefits (and those of your spouse if you're married filing a joint tax return) are taxable. It doesn't address citizens residing in a foreign country that are receiving benefits. See Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad.

Social security benefits that may be taxable to you include monthly retirement, survivor and disability benefits. They don't include supplemental security income (SSI) payments or benefits you received on behalf of a dependent. Tier 1 railroad retirement benefits are the part of benefits that a railroad employee or beneficiary would have been entitled to receive under the social security system.

Information you'll need

  • Basic information to help you determine your gross income.
  • If social security benefits are received, amounts from Box 5 on Form SSA-1099. 
  • If railroad retirement benefits are received, amounts from Box 5 on Form RRB-1099.

The tool is designed for taxpayers who were U.S. citizens or resident aliens for the entire tax year for which they're inquiring. If married, the spouse must also have been a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire tax year. For information about nonresidents or dual-status aliens, please see International taxpayers.


Conclusions are based on information provided by you in response to the questions you answered. Answers do not constitute written advice in response to a specific written request of the taxpayer within the meaning of section 6404(f) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Estimated completion time: 9 minutes

Please note: After 30 minutes of inactivity, you'll be forced to start over.

Caution: Using the "Back" button within the ITA tool could cause an application error.