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Social Security and taxes on benefits explained

With tax season here, Americans who collect Social Security are wondering if they’ll need to pay taxes on their benefits, and how much.

tax return form to pay taxes on income like social security benefits

If you collect Social Security, it’s important to know what it is you may need to pay in taxes.

What you end up paying in taxes depends on your combined income once you’re in retirement.


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How much might I be taxed?

If your income surpasses a certain amount combined with your benefits, you’ll need to pay taxes on it.

If you do not have a high income at all, you will probably not need to pay any taxes.

If you earned more, you may pay taxes on up to 50%-85% of your benefits.

The highest earners are the ones who see 85%, while middle income earners will see closer to 50%.

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What counts as income aside from Social Security?

  • wages
  • pensions
  • interest
  • dividends
  • capital gain distributions

If you have a substantial amount of income in retirement, you may be subject to both state and federal taxes.

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