turbotax icon
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Close icon
Do you have a TurboTax Online account?

We'll help you get started or pick up where you left off.


What is the maximum interest I can earn without paying federal taxes.

Only other source of income for my wife and myself is social security.

This feature is pending. Thanks for your patience.
Didn't get the answer you wanted? Our digital assistant can help you.
6 Replies
Employee Tax Expert


Hello, You pay federal income taxes on your Social Security benefits if you have other substantial income in addition to your benefits, like interest income in your case. 


You will pay tax on only 85 percent of your Social Security benefits, based on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules. If you:

  • file a joint return, and you and your spouse have a combined income* that is
    • between $32,000 and $44,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits.
    • more than $44,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable.
  • are married and file a separate tax return, you probably will pay taxes on your benefits.
  • Your adjusted gross income
    + Nontaxable interest
    ½ of your Social Security benefits
    = Your "combined income"



Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Please give me a thumbs up if you like my answer.

Holly W1
Employee Tax Expert


Hello @Bluefalcon77 
I am so happy you are joining us today!
The taxability of income is based on your standard deduction or itemized deduction (whichever is higher).
Here are the filing requirements for the IRS:

For 2022:

married filing jointly under 65 (both spouses) $25,900
married filing jointly 65 or older (one spouse) $27,300
married filing jointly 65 or older (both spouses) $28,700

The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly for tax year 2023 rises to $27,700 up $1,800 from the prior year. For single taxpayers and married individuals filing separately, the standard deduction rises to $13,850 for 2023, up $900, and for heads of households, the standard deduction will be $20,800 for tax year 2023, up $1,400 from the amount for tax year 2022.

So if your taxable income is under $27,700 for 2023, then you will not be required to file a Federal Tax return.  
Depending what State you live in, there may be different filing requirements.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions, I will be happy to help!


Holly W

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post**
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"** Thank you for joining us today!



Employee Tax Expert



Hi, in addition to the great responses below, I thought I would add some calculations/other info that may be helpful.  All of this assumes you have no other source of income than Social Security and interest and all the interest is taxable.

First, know that your ultimate taxable income is generally less than what you might think of as "income,"" as it is reduced by a deduction (either standard or itemized). Assuming you are married, filing jointly and both over 65, you would have a standard deduction in 2022 of $28,700 ($27,300 if only one of you is over 65--Note if either of you are blind, the standard deduction would be greater).  It's also possible that you have itemized deductions which are higher than the standard deduction.

In the first place, if your interest plus 1/2 your combined social security is less than $32,000 (YOUR COMBINED INCOME), you will not have to pay federal income tax (ignoring that standard or itemized deduction).

However, if your interest plus 1/2 your combined social security is greater than $32,000 (YOUR COMBINED INCOME), you may have to pay federal income tax.  Here's an example that may help you make sense of this.



Taxable interest                                                                       $35,000

Total SS is $66000 (1/2 = $33K)                                             33,000


Combined income                                                                  $68,000

$68K is greater than the $44K  threshold where SS becomes taxable at 85%


Taxable interest                                                                        $35,000

Plus 85% of $66K SS                                                                  56,100

Total agi                                                                                        91,100

Less standard deduction (use itemized if greater)              $28,700

Taxable income                                                                            $62,400

 You can see that there are a lot of variables that impact your question. For this reason, I suggest you experiment with the Tax Calculator, which will let you play our your particular scenarios in more detail.

Please use the thumbs up to cheer below if this helps.  



**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
Terri Lynn
Employee Tax Expert


Bluefalcon77 you asked : What is the maximum interest one can earn without paying federal taxes, while receiving social security.

Great question, Bluefalcon77.
To answer this question, you must first determine if you have a filing requirement for the year.
If you are married and file a joint return with a spouse who's also 65 or older, you'll need to file a return if your combined adjusted gross income is $28,700 or more.
If your spouse is under 65 years old, then the threshold amount decreases to $27,300.
Keep in mind that these income thresholds were based on the 2022 tax year, rules, and generally increase slightly each year.
If you do have a filing requirement, then you will need to consider the following information:
Most interest that you receive is taxable income in the year it becomes available to you. However, some interest you receive may be tax-exempt. You should receive Copy B of Form 1099-INT or Form 1099-OID reporting payments of interest and/or tax-exempt interest of $10 or more. You must report all taxable and tax-exempt interest on your federal income tax return, even if you don't receive a Form 1099-INT or Form 1099-OID. if you are required to file a tax return.
For more information about interest and the specific types of taxable and tax exempt interest, please check out the following page at IRS.gov: https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc403

Please let me know if this information was helpful and let me know if you have any additional questions.


Terri Lynn H.
Employee Tax Expert


Hi @Bluefalcon77  thank you for joining us today for our TurboTax Live Event.  

The tax experts @Holly W1 & @Kan_EA have provided you excellent resources to determine your tax bracket and how social security is taxed.  

Below is a useful TurboTax tool to estimate your 2023 Individual income tax.  You can estimate your annualized income for 2023 and federal withholding and use the calculator below to make sure you have enough taxes paid in.

TurboTax's TaxCaster tax calculator:



Use the link below to set up a IRS Online account if you need to make estimated taxes.



Please reach out if you have additional questions.

Thanks for using TTLive!

Bonnie, TTLive Tax Expert

*Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
message box icon

Get more help

Ask questions and learn more about your taxes and finances.

Post your Question
message box icon

Ready to start your taxes?

Hand off your taxes, get expert help, or do it yourself.

See Pricing
Manage cookies