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Can I have taxes withheld from Social Security?

En español | Yes. You can specify when you file your claim for Social Security benefits that you want federal income taxes withheld from the payments.

If you’re already getting benefits and then later decide to start withholding, you’ll need to fll in a voluntary withholding request, also known as Internal Revenue Service Form W-4V, and submit it by mail or in person to your local Social Security office

[Editor’s note: Local Social Security offices are closed to walk-in visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Social Security services are available online and by phone. If you have a "dire need situation" regarding your benefits or need to update information attached to your Social Security number, such as your name or citizenship status, you may be able to schedule an in-person appointment. See Social Security's coronavirus page or call your local office for more information.]

You’ll have the option of diverting 7 percent, 10 percent, 12 percent or 22 percent of your monthly benefits toward your income tax bill. You can also use the form to change your withholding rate or stop the withholding.

Keep in mind

  • Your Social Security benefits are taxable only if your overall income exceeds $25,000 for an individual or $32,000 for a married couple filing jointly. If the income you report is above that threshold, you could pay taxes on up to 85 percent of your benefits.

Updated October 23, 2020

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