Are Social Security Benefits Taxed?

It depends. Two main factors come into play when determining whether your Social Security benefits are taxable – your marital status and your total income. If Social Security benefits were the only income you received during 2011, your benefits will likely not be taxable. If you receive income from multiple sources, the amount of money you take in altogether is what determines whether you pay taxes.

The calculation that you need to do in order to determine whether you owe taxes on your benefits is the following:

  • Take one-half of all your Social Security benefits and add that figure to your total income from other sources (the Internal Revenue Service refers to this as your “combined income”)
  • If you are married and filing jointly, you have to pay taxes once your combined income exceeds $32,000
  • If you are filing as an individual or head of household, that limit is $25,000
  • If you exceed these limits, you have to pay taxes on half of your total Social Security benefits
  • If you are married and file jointly and your combined income is over $44,000, you could pay taxes on up to 85 percent of your Social Security benefits
  • For individuals, if your combined income exceeds $34,000, you may up have to pay taxes on up to 85 percent of your benefits

Do taxes have any impact on your Social Security benefits?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys


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