A quick way to find out if any of your benefits may be taxable is to add one-half of your Social Security benefits to all your other income, including any tax-exempt interest. Next, compare this total to the base amounts below. If your total is more than the base amount for your filing status, then some of your benefits may be taxable. The three base amounts are:
- $25,000 - for single, head of household, qualifying widow or widower with a dependent child or married individuals filing separately who did not live with their spouse at any time during the year
- $32,000 - for married couples filing jointly
- $0 - for married persons filing separately who lived together at any time during the year
The IRS has a worksheet in their Publication 915. If you do the quick calculation above and see that some are taxable you have to use the worksheet then to see exactly how much is taxable.
Enter the total amount from box 5 of ALL your Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099. Also enter this amount on Form 1040, line 20a, or Form 1040A, line 14a1.
2.Enter one-half of line 12.
3.Combine the amounts from:
Form 1040: Lines 7, 8a, 9a, 10 through 14, 15b, 16b, 17 through 19, and 21
Form 1040A: Lines 7, 8a, 9a, 10, 11b, 12b, and 133.
4.Enter the amount, if any, from Form 1040 or 1040A, line 8b4.
5.Enter the total of any exclusions/adjustments for:
Adoption benefits (Form 8839, line 28),
Foreign earned income or housing (Form 2555, lines 45 and 50, or Form 2555-EZ, line 18), and
Certain income of bona fide residents of American Samoa (Form 4563, line 15) or Puerto Rico
6.Combine lines 2, 3, 4, and 56.
7.Form 1040 filers: Enter the amounts from Form 1040, lines 23 through 32, and any write-in adjustments you entered on the dotted line next to line 36.
Form 1040A filers: Enter the amounts from Form 1040A, lines 16 and 177.
8.Is the amount on line 7 less than the amount on line 6?
No.None of your social security benefits are taxable. Enter -0- on Form 1040, line 20b, or Form 1040A, line 14b.
Yes.Subtract line 7 from line 68.
9.If you are:
Note. If you are married filing separately and you lived with your spouse at any time in 2014, skip lines 9 through 16; multiply line 8 by 85% (.85) and enter the result on line 17. Then go to line 18.
10.Is the amount on line 9 less than the amount on line 8?
No.None of your benefits are taxable. Enter -0- on Form 1040, line 20b, or on Form 1040A, line 14b. If you are married filing separately and you lived apart from your spouse for all of 2014, be sure you entered “D” to the right of the word “benefits” on Form 1040, line 20a, or on Form 1040A, line 14a.
Yes.Subtract line 9 from line 810.
11.Enter $12,000 if married filing jointly; $9,000 if single, head of household, qualifying widow(er), or married filing separately and you lived apart from your spouse for all of 201411.
12.Subtract line 11 from line 10. If zero or less, enter -0-12.
13.Enter the smaller of line 10 or line 1113.
14.Enter one-half of line 1314.
15.Enter the smaller of line 2 or line 14.
16.Multiply line 12 by 85% (.85). If line 12 is zero, enter -0-.
17.Add lines 15 and 16.
18.Multiply line 1 by 85% (.85).
19.Taxable benefits. Enter the smaller of line 17 or line 18. Also enter this amount on Form 1040, line 20b, or Form 1040A, line 14b.