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Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 28084
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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My name is ***** *****. I am retired and receive a pension

Customer Question

My name is ***** *****. I am retired and receive a pension from my former employer. My ex-wife gets some of that pension because we were married while I was employed. My ex-wife recently achieved Social Security Full Retirement Age and is now eligible to collect Social Security Spousal Benefits. Our Property Settlement Agreement states that my alimony to her is a fixed amount per year, offset by any pension she gets. I would like to treat her Social Security Spousal Benefit as pension, in order to justify a reduction in alimony. My question is: Do Social Security Benefits count as pension?
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Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lev replied 11 months ago.

Social Security Benefits are NOT classified as pension for income tax purposes.
These items are taxed differently and reported separately on your tax return form 1040

- Social Security Benefits are reported on lined 20a and 20b - and depending on your other income may be not taxable or partially taxable

- pension is reported n lines 16a and 16b and generally fully taxable while your original after tax contribution (if any) is distributed tax free.

Expert:  Lev replied 11 months ago.


If additional - pension that your spouse receives from your account is reducing your pension, but social security benefits that your ex-spouse receives base don your earning record doesn't affect your benefits.

So while your position and reasoning are clear - it is very unlikely your ex-spouse would agree - and if you or she will take the issue to the court you still have some chances to prevail but there is no guarantee.

Sorry if you expected differently.

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