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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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I got married last year so this year I am filing married jointly.

Resolved Question:

I got married last year so this year I am filing married jointly. My husband is on SSI disability, has an annuity from an accident, and a state disability check. He's permanently disabled. Because we're married now does his non taxable income now become taxable because of my income. So basically do we have to pay taxes on all his income. Or because it's disability do we not have to include it on our taxes? I called the IRS and got nowhere. Just the standard read from the file answer.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 5 years ago.
HelloCustomer

Part of his social security benefits may be subject to tax, depending on the total income the two of you have combined.

The way it works is this. As a married couple, SS allows you a base of $32,000. You would take half of his annual SS disability payments and deduct that amount from the $32,000. The difference is what you are allowed to have in income before any of his SS benefits may be subject to tax.

There is a worksheet included in the Form 1040 instructions for making the actual calculation of whether or not any or part of his benefits are taxable. But the basic answer to your question is yes, your income will be considered when making the determination of how much, if any, of his SS disability is subject to tax.

Filing separate returns will not alleviate the situation. In a case where one taxpayer is receiving SS benefits and he files a separate return, then his base is reduced from $32,000 to zero.

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 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I make $46K. He gets about 23k from SSI. So the $32K base is his or mine. Sorry I'm alittle confused. With my income and his SSI how much of it would be taxable with my income? And I thank you very much for explaining in lay terms. And not accountant talk. This will be my first year to go to one, if I have to. Otherwise it's turbo tax again. Or would you recommend an accountant. in this situation?
Expert:  Merlo replied 5 years ago.
Hello again needle,

The $32,000 base applies to your total combined income from other sources, other than SS. In other words, in your case you make $46,000. I assume your husband has no job or other income.

If he is receiving $23,000 a year in SS benefits, then half of that amount is $11,500. You would deduct the $11,500 from the $32,000 base and the result is $20,500. So $20,500 is what the two of you would be allowed to have in other income combined before any of his taxes became taxable. If your other income exceeds that amount, then a portion of his benefits are taxable. Since your income is $46,000, you do exceed the $20,500 which is allowed.

I just ran the numbers on the worksheet and it looks like $17,475 of his SS benefits will be subject to tax.

You can still use Turbo Tax and should not have any problems. This is a quite common situation and TT will handle the calculations for you easily.

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 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you

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