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Arthur Rubin
Arthur Rubin, Tax Preparer
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Experience:  22 years of tax preparation experience, including individual, trust, and estate returns.
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A Swiss citizen has been a green-card resident of the US since

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A Swiss citizen has been a green-card resident of the US since 1961. She is receiving Swiss social security benefits as well as US social security benefits. How should she report the Swiss SSB payments on her US form 1040 (and California 540): Are these payments treated the same as US social security benefits payments on line 20 of form 1040? Or are these reported as "other income" on line 21 instead? (As an aside, Switzerland does not tax these SSB payments).
Reference: Article 19 of the US - Switzerland Tax Treaty (1996)
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Arthur Rubin replied 8 years ago.

Dear "intiquest",


Thank you for using Just Answer.


Assuming no coordination of benefits is needed between Swiss social security benefits and the US social security benefits, the Swiss social security benefits are taxed as social security benefits on the 1040, and as other income on the 540. (Technically, they should be taxed as a pension on the 540, but "other income" has the same tax consequences.)

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I'm not sure what you mean by coordination of benefits. COuld you quote the exact paragraph or sentence that shows this tax treament, as I have received prior feedback that Swiss SSB should be treated as other income even on the 1040
Expert:  Arthur Rubin replied 8 years ago. states:


If you qualify for Social Security benefits from both the United States and Switzerland and you did not need the agreement to qualify for either benefit, the amount of your U.S. benefit may be reduced. This is a result of a provision in U.S. law that can affect the way your benefit is figured if you also receive a pension based on work that was not covered by U.S. Social Security. For more information, call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, and get the publication, Windfall Elimination Provision (Publication #05-10045).


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