Senior citizens who rely on social security benefits as a source of income must follow the same tax filing requirements as any other citizen. However, there is no requirement to submit a tax return if social security is their only source of income.
Is there a specific age at which social security income becomes non-taxable?
No matter their age, social security income is subject to taxation. There is a common misconception that social security taxes end when seniors reach a specific age, like 70 but this is not true. If their income exceeds a certain threshold, social security can be taxed at any age.
They usually need to submit a tax return if their taxable income is greater than the standard deduction allowed for their filing status by the IRS. According to this, senior citizens receiving social security payments must decide whether a portion of their benefits will be subject to federal taxation.
When should social security be accounted for in gross income?
For tax purposes, several situations mandate that seniors include a portion of their social security benefits in their gross income. 85% of their social security benefits are included in their gross income if they are married but elect to file a separate tax return and reside with their spouse. Additionally, a portion of their social security benefits is counted as gross income for tax purposes in any year in which the sum of their social security benefit, their entire taxable income, and all tax-exempt interest and dividends exceeds $25,000 for individuals filing alone or $32,000 for married couples filing jointly.
How to avoid paying social security taxes?
Seniors will be required to file a tax return if their income exceeds the threshold for their filing status, which may subject their social security benefits to federal and, in certain situations, state income tax.
There are legal ways to reduce or completely avoid paying taxes on social security income. It is typically advised to obtain advice from a tax professional to navigate these options efficiently and ensure compliance with tax rules. Keeping gross income below the amount that requires filing a tax return is the easiest way to avoid paying taxes on social security benefits. Depending on the filing status, a different income threshold may apply. Seniors can think about limiting their retirement account withdrawals and prioritizing taking money out of tax-free retirement accounts before using other income streams to lower their gross income.