How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Robin D. Your Own Question

Robin D.
Robin D., Senior Tax Advisor 4
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 7873
Experience:  15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor
14155347
Type Your Tax Question Here...
Robin D. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My wife, when she emigrated from Switzerland to the USA in

Customer Question

My wife, when she emigrated from Switzerland to the USA in 1976 was allowed to continue paying into the Swiss Social Security System (AHV). The amount paid was based on our joint income that was primarily from my wages. The payments were either by a check drawn from an American bank account or a transfer from a Swiss bank account. All the money paid in had been “after tax.” There were no contributions by the Swiss government since she had no Swiss earned income from in the years of contribution.
However, she paid a Swiss income tax (really a “wealth tax”) in the years of the Social Security contributions. Part of this wealth tax was also based on my wages.
I am perplexed how the social security payments she received in 2011 should be treated and taxed. Part of the IRS code states that “foreign social security benefits are taxable as annuities (unless they are exempt from US tax or treated as a US Social Security benefit under a treaty)”., Are her social security payments considered an annuity? And if so, what percentage of it is taxable? Is this reported on line 16a of IRS Form 1040?
Or should it be reported on line 21, other income, “Swiss Social Security?” If it is to be reported on line 21, is it taxed as US social security, that is, 15% is not taxed no matter what the income?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Robin D. replied 2 years ago.

Robin D :

Hello and thank you for using Just Answer,

No special double taxation relief rule is required Under Article 19 where Swiss social security benefits are paid to U.S. residents because Switzerland does not tax the benefits when it is the source country.
U.S. residence-basis taxation of Swiss social security benefits is not limited by the Convention between US and Switzerland.
You will treat the payments as annuity payments. The percentage that would be taxable would be based on the amounts contributed while under US taxation.

Customer :

If I understand you correctly, if the entire amount contributed to the AHV was made while we were subject to US residency and tax laws the entire payment received in any year will be taxable at out regular tax rate?

Customer :

Robin D :

The payments are treaty as annuity for tax purposes. Any amounts contributed that were made with money that was taxed by the US already can be used as the basis in the annuity. If you contributed after-tax dollars to your pension or annuity, your pension payments are partially taxable. You will not pay tax on the part of the payment that represents a return of the after-tax amount you paid. This amount is your cost in the plan or investment, and includes the amounts your employer contributed that were taxable to you when contributed.
Taxed under either the General Rule or the Simplified Method. You need to use the simplified method because the payments started after 1996.

http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc411.html

Robin D :

Thank you in advance for a positive rating

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I really was impressed with the prompt response. Your expert was not only a tax expert, but a people expert!!! Her genuine and caring attitude came across in her response... T.G.W Matteson, IL
< Last | Next >
  • I really was impressed with the prompt response. Your expert was not only a tax expert, but a people expert!!! Her genuine and caring attitude came across in her response... T.G.W Matteson, IL
  • I WON!!! I just wanted you to know that your original answer gave me the courage and confidence to go into yesterday's audit ready to fight. Bonnie Chesnee, SC
  • Great service. Answered my complex tax question in detail and provided a lot of additional useful information for my specific situation. John Minneapolis, MN
  • Excellent information, very quick reply. The experts really take the time to address your questions, it is well worth the fee, for the peace of mind they can provide you with. Orville Hesperia, California
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Wallstreet Esq.

    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    570
    10 years experience
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KU/KUMI95/2013-9-30_195031_kumar.64x64.jpg Wallstreet Esq.'s Avatar

    Wallstreet Esq.

    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    570
    10 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CU/Cuttinggirl/2011-10-29_03719_wcrop2.64x64.jpg Wendy Reed's Avatar

    Wendy Reed

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    3052
    15+ years tax preparation and tax advice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CATax/2009-08-04_204548_Mark.jpg Mark D's Avatar

    Mark D

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    985
    MBA, EA, Specializing in Business and Individual Tax Returns and Issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/insearchoftheanswer/2013-8-16_0233_attorney.64x64.jpg Richard's Avatar

    Richard

    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3229
    29 years of experience as a tax, real estate, and business attorney.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MY/MyVirtualCPA/2012-7-5_44024_cookmegan1.64x64.jpg Megan C's Avatar

    Megan C

    Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

    Satisfied Customers:

    6121
    Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JG/jgordosea/2012-6-7_43138_GordosVeritas.64x64.jpg jgordosea's Avatar

    jgordosea

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    2783
    I've prepared all types of taxes since 1987.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OZ/ozaukeecpa/2012-6-7_193219_Picture1croppedandshrunk.64x64.jpg MequonCPA's Avatar

    MequonCPA

    Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

    Satisfied Customers:

    2231
    CPA, Over 30 yrs experience w/individuals and small businesses. Masters in Tax.
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Tax Professional
Robin D.
Robin D.
7315 Satisfied Customers
15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor