Tax Q&A: Are Your Social Security Disability Benefits Taxable?
Do you have other sources of income?
- As a general rule, if Social Security is your only source of income then it is not taxable and you probably do not need to file a federal income tax return.
- If you have other income a portion of your Social Security benefits may be taxable if half of your benefits plus your other taxable income exceeds $25,000 for a person filing individually or $32,000 for a couple filing jointly. For more information, view the Social Security Administration’s Benefits Planner.
Do your Social Security benefits cover more than one tax year?Another factor that can affect your taxes is whether you received a large lump-sum check for retroactive benefits that could cover more than one year. In those cases, you will have a choice to make:
- You can choose to treat these benefits as taxable in the year they were received, or
- You can consider how you would have been taxed in the years in which the benefits were payable, if that amount would be lower. You would then just pay taxes on the lower amount. There is no need to amend prior tax returns when this choice is made.