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Social Security Benefits


Social Security income or equivalent railroad retirement benefit amounts you received may or may not be taxable, depending on other income you or your spouse received in the tax year.

Taxpayers are classified into five categories depending on the level of provisional income, which is defined as AGI plus tax-exempt interest plus 50% of the Social Security benefits.

Taxpayers must include in income the lesser of 50% (or 85%, depending on income) of social security received or 50% (or 85%, depending on income) of the excess provisional income over the threshold.

  • Low Income = No SS benefits are taxable (income below: single $25,000/MFJ $32,000)
  • Low Middle Income = Less than 50% of SS benefits are taxable
  • Middle Income = 50% of SS benefits are taxable (income over: single $25,000/MFJ $32,000)
  • Upper Middle Income = Between 50% and 85% of SS benefits are taxable
  • Upper Income = 85% of SS benefits are taxable (income over: single $34,000/MFJ $44,000)
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