How Does the Government Tax Social Security Benefits?

How Does the Government Tax Social Security Benefits?

Social Security benefits are taxed if the recipient has other substantial income in addition to his Social Security benefits, explains the Social Security Administration. No one pays federal tax on more than 85 percent of his benefits.

As of 2015, if the recipient files his return as an individual, he pays tax on up to 50 percent of his benefits if he makes between $25,000 and $34,000 in benefits and other income, and up to 85 percent of his benefits are taxable if he makes more than $34,000.

A married filing jointly recipient with a combined income between $32,000 and $44,000 may see tax on up to 50 percent of his benefits, and up to 85 percent of his benefits is taxable with an income greater than $44,000, explains the Social Security Administration.