Filing Taxes Just Got (A Little Bit) Easier

Filing Taxes Just Got (A Little Bit) Easier

Photo of Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay

Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay

Courtesy: Social Security Administration

It’s already April, and the annual tax filing deadline is fast approaching. If you receive Social Security benefits, one of the documents you need to file your federal income tax return is your Social Security Benefit Statement (Form SSA-1099/1042S).

Your Social Security benefits may be taxable. This includes monthly retirement, survivor and disability benefits. About one-third of the people receiving Social Security benefits must pay taxes on some of these benefits, depending on the amount of their taxable income. This usually happens if you have other substantial income — such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income that must be reported on your tax return — in addition to your Social Security benefits. Based on Internal Revenue Service rules, you will never have to pay taxes on more than 85 percent of your Social Security benefits.

To find out if you must pay taxes on your benefits, you will need your Social Security Benefit Statement (Form SSA-1099/1042S). You should automatically receive it in the mail each January. It shows the total amount of benefits you received from Social Security in the previous year so you know how much Social Security income to report to the IRS on your tax return. The benefit statement is not available for people who receive Supplemental Security Income, as SSI payments are not taxable.

Whether you file your taxes early or wait until the deadline, Social Security makes it easy to obtain a replacement benefit statement if you didn’t receive one or misplaced it. You can get an instant replacement easily by using your secure online my Social Security account. If you don’t already have an account, you can create one in minutes. Follow the link below to the my Social Security page, and select “Sign In or Create an Account.” Once you are logged in, select the “Replacement Documents” tab to obtain your replacement 1099 or 1042S benefit statement. You can also use your personal my Social Security account to keep track of your earnings each year, manage your benefits and more.

You can also obtain a replacement benefit statement by calling us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., or by contacting your local Social Security office. If you live outside of the United States, contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  But by going online, you can print your replacement benefit statement immediately and not have to wait to receive it in the mail.  

With a my Social Security account, gathering your Social Security information for tax season has never been easier. Open your own personal my Social Security account today at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay is Social Security’s public affairs specialist in Hawai‘i.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

RETIREMENT

Question:  I just returned from an overseas military deployment and want to plan ahead. How will my military retirement affect my Social Security benefits?

Answer:  Your military retirement will not affect your Social Security benefits at all. You can receive both. Generally, there is no offset of Social Security benefits because of your military retirement. You will get full Social Security benefits based on your earnings. The only way your Social Security benefit might be reduced is if you also receive a government pension based on a job in which you did not pay Social Security taxes. You can find more information in the publication Military Service and Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10017.html, or, call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

DISABILITY

Question:  I was turned down for disability. Do I need a lawyer to appeal?

Answer:  You are entitled to hire an attorney if you wish to, but it is not necessary. And, you can file a Social Security appeal online without a lawyer. Our online appeal process is convenient and secure. Just go to www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/appeal. If you prefer, call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to schedule an appointment to visit your local Social Security office to appeal.

Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay is Social Security’s public affairs specialist in Hawai‘i.

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