Social security benefits may be taxable...
Did you sign up for social security benefits last year? If so, you may have questions about how those payments are taxed on your federal income tax return.
The Social Security Administration recently announced monthly social security and supplemental security income benefits (SSI) will increase in 2015 by 1.7%. This increase is based upon the Consumer Price Index over the past 12 months ending in September 2014. In addition, other figures based on the national average wage index will also be changed. A recap of the key amounts is outlined here:
Social Security: know the variables . Do your math
Determining the best time and best way to take Social Security Benefits can make a big difference in the amount you receive over the balance of your lifetime. Your personal Social Security benefits strategy often has no one right answer. What is prudent, however, is running calculations prior to making your benefit decision. Here are some things to consider.
Full retirement age. Your full Social Security Retirement benefit can be claimed when you reach your target retirement age. This is age 66 for those born between 1943 and 1954. Those born after 1954 have their full retirement age increase by two months per year until full retirement age becomes 67 years old for those born in 1960 or later.
Beware the Tax Torpedo
Large retirement account balances can cause Social Security tax problems
When you reach age 70 ½, the trigger requiring distributions from qualified retirement accounts is pulled. This annual Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) applies to Traditional IRAs, SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, 401(k), 403(b) and other defined contribution plans. Amounts not distributed on a timely basis could be subject to a 50% penalty. Thankfully, the RMD rules do not apply to Roth IRAs.
The RMD rules are established to ensure the deferred tax benefit for certain retirement accounts does not go indefinitely into the future. In other words, the IRS now wants their cut of your tax-deferred savings accounts. The amount you must take out each year is based upon your age, your spouse’s age and your filing status.
The Tax Torpedo refers to the surprising event of having your Social Security Income taxed. Depending on your income and filing status, up to 85% of your Social Security Benefit could be subject to income tax.