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Are Social Security Benefits Taxable? Your Form SSA-1099

March 8, 2016

If the only income you received last year was your social security benefits, you may not be required to pay taxes on them or file a tax return. However, if you receive income from other sources, your social security benefits will not be taxable only if your modified adjusted gross income is less than the minimum requirement for your filing status.

Determining Your Taxable Benefits

If your benefits are taxable, you need to include them in your gross income. If both you and your child receive benefits, you need to only include your part of the benefits to determine if they are taxable. Your child’s benefits must be added in the child’s income to see if they are taxable.

If you are married filing jointly, you and your spouse need to combine your incomes, social security benefits and other benefits to see what your total tax liability will be. For more information on calculating if your benefits are taxable, you may use the worksheet in Form 1040 Instructions or Form 1040A Instructions.

Form SSA-1099

Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit, is a tax form used to report social security benefits. The Social Security Administration sends Form SSA-1099 each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. The form shows the total amount of benefits you received in the previous year.

Using Form SSA-1099, you can accurately report your social security income to the IRS on your tax return. Noncitizens who live outside the U.S. receive Form SSA-1042S instead of Form SSA-1099. If there are errors on Form SSA-1099, contact the Social Security immediately.


You are not required to attach Form SSA-1099 with your tax return. However, it is important to accurately report the benefits and pay taxes on them, if you are required to file.

The income reported on forms 1099s is also sent to the IRS. During processing, they match the information on your return with information received from third parties. Inaccuracies on your tax return, if any, may be corrected by the IRS and the tax liability adjusted. If the IRS does not correct the errors, an amended return may need to be filed.

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