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Tax bracket for SSA benefits

My husband is 65, almost 66. He started collecting SS benefits at age 62. He has 22% tax withheld from his benefits because I still work full-time and our income is in the 22% tax bracket. I am 63 years old. When I retire and start collecting SS benefits our income would then fall in the 12% tax bracket. Would I then only need to have 12% withheld from my SS for taxes? Would my husband then be able stop having 22% withheld for taxes and only need to have 12% withheld?

2 Replies
Employee Tax Expert

Tax bracket for SSA benefits

Hi @Preid531 !


Based on what you've shared, you may not have to do any Social Security withholding once your retire.  If Social Security is your only income, you don't have a tax liability.  However, if the 12% bracket you're referring to is from other income from retirement distributions, etc., that could make your Social Security partially taxable.


Here is a great resource that may help:



Hope this helps!


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Tax bracket for SSA benefits

If your only income is social security, it is tax-free.


If half your social security plus all your other taxable income is less than $32,000, your social security is still tax-free, and your other income would be subject to the standard deduction of $30,700, so it would probably still be tax-free.


If half your social security plus all your other taxable income is more than $32,000, then your other taxable income is taxable, AND you start to count your SS benefit as taxable income, but you are still subject to the $30,700 standard deduction.


So even if you planned to have $50,000 of other income (pensions, 401k etc.) your first $30K would be tax-free and the next 30K would be 12%, which averages to 6%.


I suspect that 10%-12% would be sufficient.  If you want to be conservative, start with 15% and do a checkup halfway through the year. 


This all assumes you are married and filing jointly.  If you file separately, that changes everything. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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