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Level 1

Social Security Tax Withholding

My wife and I applied for Social Security Retirement payments on May 5th, but as yet have not received call back for meeting.  Since I was born in 1952 I am planning on taking 1/2 of the payment my wife is due until I turn 70 in 2022.  I want all of my payments until I start getting my payment to withheld for taxes.  Also we are planning on going back 6 months before this date to get benefits.  So:

1)  How do I file withholding on W-4 to get entire amount of my spousal benefit taken as taxes?

2)  Since this involves going back into December 2020 for a benefit do I need to revise 2020 taxes or since it won't be paid until 2021 will it count as withholding or taxes for 2021 or 2020 (since that is when the check will be issued).

I am trying to pay extra taxes in 2021 since I am making some IRA conversions to Roth accounts in 2021.

1 Reply
Employee Tax Expert

Social Security Tax Withholding

To set up withholding for Social Security you will need (you and your spouse) to file form W-4V - Voluntary Withholding Request.  Here is a link to that form:  (you may need to copy and past it into a browser to bring up the form)


The amount you can have withheld is limited (see the form for details).  You could have the remaining amount deposited into a separate account for you to make your tax payments.


Spousal benefits are a bit complicated in that your spouse must be drawing a benefit for you to qualify.  Social Security will also look to see what benefit you qualify for and pay the greater of the two amounts (even if you do not want to draw "your" Social Security until 70).


Any benefits you receive will be reported and taxed the year you receive them, so you will not need to amend your 2020 taxes.


I do want to suggest that you consider talking to a financial planner regarding converting your Traditional IRA's to Roth IRA's.  The conversion is taxable and is considered income, so you may have a very large tax bill.  The increase in income in the year of conversion may increase the amount of your Social Security is subject to income tax and your overall tax rate as well.



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