|Tax Topic #423
||2008 Tax Year
Topic 423 - Social Security and
Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits
If the only income you received during the tax year was your social security
or equivalent railroad retirement benefits, your benefits are probably not
taxable and you probably will not have to file a tax return.
If you also received other income, your benefits will not be taxed unless
your modified adjusted gross income is more than the base amount for your
filing status. If you have income in addition to your benefits, you may have
to file a return even if none of your benefits are taxable. Your taxable benefits
and modified adjusted gross income are figured in a worksheet in the Form 1040 Instructions or Form 1040A Instructions.
To make a determination if your benefits are taxable, complete the social
security benefits worksheet in the Form 1040 or 1040A instruction book.
The taxable benefits, if any, must be included in the gross income of the
person who has the legal right to receive them. For example, if you and your
child received benefits, but the check for your child was made out in your
name, you must use only your own portion of the benefits in figuring if any
part is taxable to you. Half of the portion that belongs to your child must
be added to your child's other income to determine if any of those benefits
are taxable to your child.
If you are married and file a joint return, you and your spouse must combine
your incomes, social security benefits, and equivalent railroad retirement
benefits when figuring the taxable portion of your benefits.
If part of your benefits is taxable, you must use Form 1040 (PDF) or Form 1040A (PDF). You cannot use Form
You should receive your Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 by early February
of the current tax year. The form will show benefits paid to the person who
has the legal right to receive them, and the amount of any benefits you repaid.
It will also show amounts by which the benefits were reduced because you received
workers compensation benefits. The Substitute Workers Compensation benefits
would be taxable to the same extent.
For additional information, refer to Publication 915, Social Security
and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits.
If any part of your social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits
will be taxable in the current tax year, you may request to have additional
income tax withheld from your social security and/or tier 1 Railroad Retirement
Benefits; you may request to have additional withholding from other income
or pay estimated tax during the year. Refer to Publication 505, Tax
Withholding and Estimated Tax, for additional information on estimated
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: December 22, 2008
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