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Can I have taxes withheld from Social Security?

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 fill out a voluntary withholding request, also known as IRS Form W-4V, and submit it by mail or in person to your local Social Security office. Local offices fully reopened April 7 after being closed to walk-in traffic for more than two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Social Security recommends calling in advance and scheduling an appointment to avoid long waits.

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 April 7, 2022