How much of your Social Security benefit is taxable?


Quick Answer

Up to 85 percent of your Social Security benefits are taxable, but the actual amount depends on how much other income you have, according to the Social Security Administration. Whether you file as an individual or as a married couple also affects how much of the benefits are taxable.

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Full Answer

If your combined income (wages or salary, tax-exempt interest and half of your Social Security benefits) is between $25,000 and $34,000 a year, and you file taxes as an individual, up to half of your benefits may be taxable, according to the Social Security Administration. If the total is more than $34,000, you may end up paying taxes on more of your benefits, up to 85 percent. For married couples, the ranges are higher: Between $32,000 and $44,000 of combined income means up to 50 percent of benefits are taxable, and for incomes above $44,000, up to 85 percent of benefits are taxable.

While these thresholds represent the general rules established by the IRS, there are exceptions in the tax code, and other variables could increase or decrease the amount of taxes you end up paying, states the Social Security Administration. There is a cap that limits the amount of your benefits that are taxable at 85 percent, regardless of marital status or other income.

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