Q) Do I have to pay taxes on my social security benefits?
A) Whether or not you have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefits depends on your income. If your combined income (your adjusted gross income plus half of your Social Security benefits) is more than a certain amount, you will have to pay taxes on a portion of your benefits. The amount of your benefits that is taxable increases as your income increases.
The income thresholds for 2023 are:
- Single filers: $25,000
- Married filing jointly: $32,000
- Married filing separately and living apart from your spouse for the entire year: $25,000
If you are married filing separately and you lived with your spouse at any time during the year, you will be considered to be filing jointly for purposes of Social Security taxation.
To determine if you have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefits, you can use the Social Security Benefits Tax Worksheet on the IRS website.
Here is an example of how the Social Security Benefits Tax Worksheet works:
- John is a single filer and his adjusted gross income is $30,000.
- He receives $1,500 per month in Social Security benefits.
- Half of his Social Security benefits is $750 per month.
- His combined income is $37,500 ($30,000 + $750).
- Because his combined income is more than $25,000, he will have to pay taxes on a portion of his Social Security benefits.
- The amount of his benefits that is taxable is $250 per month ($37,500 – $32,000 = $5,500, then $5,500 x .5 = $2,750).
- John will have to pay taxes on $3,000 of his Social Security benefits for the year ($250 x 12 months = $3,000).
If you have any questions about whether or not you have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefits, you should consult with a tax professional.