social security

Withholding Taxes From Social Security

Older taxpayers can avoid a big bill at tax time or a penalty for underpaying taxes by having the government withhold taxes from their Social Security benefits.

Question: I'm about to sign up for Social Security. Do I need to also sign up to have taxes withheld from my benefits?

Answer: You aren't required to have taxes withheld from your Social Security benefits, but voluntary withholding can be one way to cover any taxes that may be due on your Social Security benefits and any other income. A portion of your Social Security benefits will be taxable if your income—such as from freelance work, a taxable pension and IRA withdrawals, or nontaxable interest—plus half of your Social Security benefits add up to more than $25,000 if single or $32,000 if married filing jointly (see Calculating Taxes on Social Security Benefits for more information).

There are several ways to pay the taxes throughout the year and avoid an underpayment penalty or a big bill at tax time. You can file Form W-4V with the Social Security Administration requesting to have 7%, 10%, 12% or 22% of your monthly benefit withheld for taxes. Or you can have taxes withheld from other income, such as an IRA withdrawal or a pension, or send quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS with Form 1040-ES (see Instructions for Form 1040-ES for more information).

You can avoid an underpayment penalty if withholding or estimated payments equal at least 90% of your tax liability for the current year, or 100% of your tax liability for the previous year (or 110% if your income was more than $150,000 for singles and married joint filers).

Most Popular

5 Best Dow Dividend Stocks to Buy Now
blue chip stocks

5 Best Dow Dividend Stocks to Buy Now

This mini-portfolio of blue-chip dividend payers is well-positioned to both generate income and hold up to headwinds for the rest of 2022.
June 27, 2022
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
Top Bear Market Tips from 10 Financial Advisers
investing

Top Bear Market Tips from 10 Financial Advisers

When a bull market turns into a bear market, it can be hard to know what to do. Take comfort in the guidance of 10 financial professionals.
June 30, 2022

Recommended

Retirees, Make These Midyear Moves to Cut Next Year's Tax Bill
Tax Breaks

Retirees, Make These Midyear Moves to Cut Next Year's Tax Bill

Save money next April by making these six hot-as-July tax moves.
July 1, 2022
Biden Proposes Gas Tax Holiday, Urges States to Do the Same
Tax Breaks

Biden Proposes Gas Tax Holiday, Urges States to Do the Same

The proposed three-month federal gas tax holiday would bring down the price of gasoline slightly, while state gas tax holidays could reduce the price …
July 1, 2022
IRS Increases Mileage Rates Because of High Gas Prices
Tax Breaks

IRS Increases Mileage Rates Because of High Gas Prices

The higher mileage rates, which are used to calculate certain tax deductions for business and other uses of a car, took effect on July 1.
July 1, 2022
How 13 Types of Retirement Income Get Taxed
retirement

How 13 Types of Retirement Income Get Taxed

When you're planning for retirement, it's fun to contemplate all the travel and rounds of golf ahead of you, but don't forget about taxes.
June 30, 2022