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dtait5589
New Member

My wife started receiving SS payments prior to the tax year at approximately $680/month. Should we file separate returns?

 
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My wife started receiving SS payments prior to the tax year at approximately $680/month. Should we file separate returns?

On a joint tax return you enter all income for both of you.  The SS benefit would only become taxable when all income on the joint return plus 1/2 of the SS benefit income reached $32,000 and then only 85%, at the most, would be taxable.  On a Married Filing Separate return then All of the SS benefits are taxable regardless of the other income being reported on the MFS return.

You would want to file as Married Filing Jointly even if one spouse has little or no income.  You receive the highest standard deduction of $12,700 and you each receive a personal exemption of $4,050

Standard deductions for 2017 

  • Single - $6,350 add $1,550 if age 65 or older
  • Married Filing Separately - $6,350 add $1,250 if age 65 or older
  • Married Filing Jointly - $12,700 add $1,250 for each spouse age 65 or older
  • Head of Household - $9,350 add $1,550 if age 65 or older

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4 Replies

My wife started receiving SS payments prior to the tax year at approximately $680/month. Should we file separate returns?

Why would you want to file separate tax returns just because she is receiving SS payments?
All her benefits would be taxable if you file as Married Filing Separately.
Up to 85% of Social Security Retirement/Disability/Survivors benefits becomes taxable when all your other income plus 1/2 your social security reaches:

Married Filing Jointly - $32,000
Single or Head of Household - $25,000
Married Filing Separately - 0
dtait5589
New Member

My wife started receiving SS payments prior to the tax year at approximately $680/month. Should we file separate returns?

Is this not combined with my income?  Or are the taxable limits just tied to her income?

My wife started receiving SS payments prior to the tax year at approximately $680/month. Should we file separate returns?

"prior to the tax year" Didn't you claim the 2016 payments on your Joint 2016 return?

My wife started receiving SS payments prior to the tax year at approximately $680/month. Should we file separate returns?

On a joint tax return you enter all income for both of you.  The SS benefit would only become taxable when all income on the joint return plus 1/2 of the SS benefit income reached $32,000 and then only 85%, at the most, would be taxable.  On a Married Filing Separate return then All of the SS benefits are taxable regardless of the other income being reported on the MFS return.

You would want to file as Married Filing Jointly even if one spouse has little or no income.  You receive the highest standard deduction of $12,700 and you each receive a personal exemption of $4,050

Standard deductions for 2017 

  • Single - $6,350 add $1,550 if age 65 or older
  • Married Filing Separately - $6,350 add $1,250 if age 65 or older
  • Married Filing Jointly - $12,700 add $1,250 for each spouse age 65 or older
  • Head of Household - $9,350 add $1,550 if age 65 or older
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