Is my Social Security income taxable?
If you received Social Security benefits, you’ll receive a Form SSA-1099. The amount in Box 5 (net benefits) is the amount used to determine the taxable portion of your benefits.
To learn a simple calculation to determine if your Social Security benefits may be taxable, watch this video from the IRS.
We can't give you an exact number, because that varies from person to person. But TurboTax will figure out how much, if any, of your Social Security income is taxable.
What we can tell you is that if your only source of income is from Social Security, it probably won't be taxable.
On the other hand, your Social Security benefits may be taxable if half of your Social Security benefit amount plus all of your other income (dividends, interest, retirement, etc.) exceeds $25,000 (or $32,000 if you're filing jointly).
The $255 lump-sum death benefit is not taxable and should not be reported on your return.
In contrast, lump-sum Social Security payments (payments that include those from a prior year) may be taxable if your total income exceeds $25,000 (or $32,000 if filing jointly). TurboTax will figure this out for you.
After you enter the benefits from your SSA-1099, TurboTax will ask if you received any lump-sum payments. Answer Yes and follow the on-screen instructions. You'll need to enter the year the payment applies to along with income information for that prior tax year.
When finished, add another lump-sum payment if it's for a different prior year. For example, if you received a lump-sum payment in 2013 for tax years 2011 and 2012, you'll enter two lump-sum payments, one for 2011 and the other for 2012.
If your SSA-1099 includes fees for a Social Security or disability attorney, you may be able to deduct those under Other Deductions and Credits. In TurboTax, jump to the Legal Fees area by:
- Entering "Legal expenses" in the search box (next to the Find button), and
Select "legal expenses, deduction" from the drop-down list. The search box is next to the Find button.
- Click the Find button to jump to the Legal Fees screen.
- Click Yes, and follow the prompts.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are not taxable, nor should you expect to receive an SSA-1099 form reporting them.
No. Social Security income is included on the tax return of the person who had the legal right to receive the income. For example, if both you and your child received benefits, but the check for your child was made out in your name, you must use only your own portion (and not your child’s portion) of the benefits in figuring if any part is taxable on your tax return.
In calculating your child's taxable benefits, the portion that belongs to your child must be added to your child's other income to determine if any of those benefits are taxable to your child and if your child needs to file a tax return.