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Merlo
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
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Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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Can SSA deny soc sec if you have missing IRS and Calif state

Resolved Question:

Can SSA deny soc sec if you have missing IRS and Calif state tax returns out of 49 required filing years? Not sure how many of the 8 unfiled years the IRS has assessed taxes, but 2000 was last year missed. Have Medicare, but notice that my annual SS Statement doesn't list amts I might get if/when apply...just notes that "facts established when applying for Medicare may affect...". Assume this means the 15% withholding for unpaid taxes, or can they deny ANY SS benefits because of unfilled years?    Thank You if this query can be answered.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 5 years ago.
Hello Families

Social Security does not deny benefits based on whether or not you have filed a tax return for any years.

However, your Social Security earnings are based on the amount you earned over the period of your lifetime, and of course the amount of social security and medicare taxes you paid in.

If all of your life or most of your life you held a regular job with an employer where these taxes were withheld from your paychecks, then SSA would have a record of the amounts you earned and what you paid in for SS and Medicare taxes. However if there were years where you were self employed and did not file a tax return, then the SSA would not have a record of your earnings for those particular years, and that could affect the amount of your SS benefits.

Also, if you have a past tax debt with the IRS, then the IRS can file a lien to have a portion of your SS benefits "garnished" to satisfy any tax debt you owe, but SS would not deny benefits simply based on the fact that you did not file returns.

If this was helpful please press the Accept button. Positive feedback is also appreciated.

Thank you.
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience: 25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
Merlo and 7 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Merlo replied 5 years ago.
Hello again Families,

I am sorry I did not completely answer all of your questions. The second part of your question regarding the tax liens did not show up until after I had alredy submitted by first answer to you.

Regarding tax debts that are over 10 years old, the statute of limitations only allows for the IRS to collect these debts for a period of 10 years from the final assessment date, unless the taxpayer voluntarily agrees to extend that time limit (which obviously most people do not agree to this).

As far as any lien which may have been placed on your property, most tax liens are "self-releasing".

A lien usually releases automatically 10 years after a tax is assessed, if the statutory period for collection has not been extended and the IRS extended the effect of the lien by re-filing it.

When a lien is self-released, the Notice of Federal Tax Lien itself is the release document.

The lien is considered self released if the:
·     date for refiling has passed and
·     IRS has not refiled the original Notice of Federal Tax Lien.

Taxpayers should check the column titled Last Day for Re-filing on the Notice of Federal Tax Lien to determine if the lien is self-released.

If this was helpful please press the Accept button. Positive feedback is also appreciated.

Thank you.

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