When you apply for Social Security benefits, you can request to have federal income taxes withheld from your payments. However, if you’re already receiving benefits or want to make changes, the Social Security Administration advises filling out Form W-4V from the Internal Revenue Service.
Federal income taxes are typically paid on Social Security benefits if you have other substantial income in addition to your benefits, such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income. You may have to pay federal income taxes on your Social Security benefits if you:
- File a federal tax return as an individual. If your combined income is between $25,000 and $34,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50% of your benefits. If it’s more than $34,000, up to 85% of your benefits may be taxable.
- File a joint return. If you and your spouse have a combined income that is between $32,000 and $44,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50% of your benefits. If it’s more than $44,000, up to 85% of your benefits may be taxable.
- Are married and file a separate tax return, you may have to pay taxes on your benefits.
You can find and download Form W-4V on IRS.gov or call the IRS toll-free number at 1-800-829-3676 and ask for Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, you can call 1-800-829-4059.
If you don’t have your federal income tax withheld from your benefits, you’ll be required to make quarterly estimated tax payments
You’ll also need to select the percentage of your monthly benefit amount you want to be withheld. The SSA states that you can have 7, 10, 12 or 22 percent of your monthly benefit withheld for federal income taxes. Flat dollar amounts are not accepted.
Once the form is completed, return it to your local Social Security office by mail or in person. If you want to make any changes in the future, you’ll need to fill out a new Form W-4V.
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