How much are your social security benefits each month? I need that figure in order to determine how much of your benefits might be taxable.
Based on the income that you and your husband still have in addition to the social security benefits that you are receiving, 85% of your total social security benefits will be taxable. This will be the case whether or not you file a joint return or separate return.
When you are married and receiving social security benefits, if you decide to file a separate return, you lose the benefit of the exemption amount given on social security earnings, so 85% of your benefits would still end up being taxable. So unfortunately it will not benefit you to file a separate return. I am giving you a link below to the social security worksheet that you would use to determine how much of your benefits are taxable. You can fill in the worksheet based on filing a joint return or a separate return, and you will see that the results come out the same in the end. Sorry I couldn't give you better news.
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Unfortunately the correct figure is 85%. That is the maximum percentage of your SS benefits that can be taxable, and due to the high income bracket because of your husband's salary, you will be taxed at the maximum percentage.
I think maybe the 50% that you were thinking about is part of the formula that is used in determining benefits. Basically that formula is your taxable income plus 50% of your SS earnings - and if that total exceeds the exemption amount, then a portion of your benefits are taxable. You will see on the worksheet that I sent you a link to that 85% is the correct figure.
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