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I have a question regarding my husband's social security pay…

I have a question...

I have a question regarding my husband's social security pay in 2017.

Accountant's Assistant: The Accountant will know how to help. Please tell me more, so we can help you best.

My husband is 72 now (71 in 2017). We just married in 2017. I thought his Social Security was tax free at a certain age. He has two part time jobs. Total income was $31,420. Because his filing status is married he now owes $1999 in federal taxes. Is this correct?

Accountant's Assistant: Is there anything else the Accountant should be aware of?

No. I still work. So we initially thought we would file separately. Now I'm confused.

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Answered in 4 minutes by:
2/26/2018
Barbara
Barbara, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 6,355
Experience: 20+ years of experience in tax preparation; 30+ years of experience as a real estate/corporate paralegal.
Verified

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you.

Age has nothing to do with Social Security being tax free.

Whether or not Social Security is taxable depends on your other income.

If you both work and file jointly, your husband Social Security will become taxable.

From Social Security:

"Some people have to pay federal income taxes on their Social Security benefits. This usually happens only if you have other substantial income (such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income that must be reported on your tax return) in addition to your benefits.

No one pays federal income tax on more than 85 percent of his or her Social Security benefits based on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules. If you:

  • file a federal tax return as an "individual" and your combined income* is
    • between $25,000 and $34,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits.
    • more than $34,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable.

  • file a joint return, and you and your spouse have a combined income* that is

    Whether you file jointly or separately, part of your husband's Social Security will be taxable.

    Please let me know if I can assist you further.

    Thank you and best regards,

    Barb

    • between $32,000 and $44,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits
    • more than $44,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable."

Ask Your Own Tax Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thanks for your help. How can we avoid a large tax bill next year?

The tax reform bill that passed in December, 2017 doubled the standard deduction for MFJ from $12,000 to $24,000. This reduces your taxable income.

Additionally, the tax rates are different for 2018 so you may find yourselves in a lower tax bracket.

Barbara
Barbara, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 6,355
Experience: 20+ years of experience in tax preparation; 30+ years of experience as a real estate/corporate paralegal.
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