While Social Security benefits are not taxed separately, when combined with other retirement income, your total income may exceed the threshold.
The Social Security Administration estimates that approximately 56% of beneficiaries will owe federal income taxes on their benefits. How do you determine the amount you’ll owe? To begin, determine your provisional income.
Provisional income includes half of your Social Security benefits, as well as all other taxable income, such as dividends, realized interest, and realized capital gains. Interest earnings that are not taxable, such as those on municipal bonds, should also be included.
If your provisional income is between $25,000 and $34,000, you may be required to pay income tax on up to 50% of your benefits if you file an individual federal tax return.
If your provisional income exceeds $34,000 and you file as an individual, you may be taxed on up to 85 percent of your benefits.
If your provisional income is between $32,000 and $44,000, you may be required to pay income tax on up to 50% of your benefits if you are married and jointly filing. If your combined income exceeds $44,000, you may be taxed on up to 85 percent of your benefits. Social protection
Subtract the first threshold from the taxable income and multiply by.5. After subtracting the second threshold, multiply by.35.
Add the numbers. The difference between the total and the maximum amounts is the taxable amount. If the total amount exceeds the maximum, the taxable amount is the excess.
Many individuals believe that once they exceed the first taxable threshold, their entire Social Security benefit becomes taxable. That is not the case. Rather than that, only half of the amount above the threshold is taxed.
Consider the following example – Taxes are filed jointly by a married couple. They receive $40,000 in Social Security benefits and $30,000 in IRA withdrawals. We calculate their provisional income by adding half of their Social Security benefits ($20,000) to the $30,000 in IRA withdrawals. They have an initial revenue of $50,000.
Then we multiply by.5 and subtract $32,000 from the total, which represents the initial barrier for married couples. This brings our total to $9,000. Then subtract the second married couple criterion ($44,000) from the provisional income ($50,000) and multiply by.35 to obtain $2,100. Add the $9,000 and the $2,100 for a total of $11,000 in taxable benefits.
It’s worth noting that, in comparison to other types of income, Social Security provides a significant tax benefit. In the worst-case scenario, 85% of benefits are subject to taxation, while 15% are tax-free.
It is critical to understand the various retirement income streams available to you and how they interact. Middle-income retirees can create tax-efficient retirement strategies by carefully selecting which accounts to withdraw from during different stages of retirement, including Social Security.