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Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 29966
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: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lev replied 1 year 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 1 year 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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