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Question
I receive social security and have 1099 wages.. how is the social security taxed?
Answer

Social Security is confusing for most people, so join the club! As a general rule, this is how it get’s taxed for Single Filers, Head of Household, and Married Filing Separate:

  • 0% is taxed if your total income is less than $25,000 ($32,000 for Married Filing Joint).
  • 50% if your total income is between $25,000 and $34,000 ($32,000-$44,000 for MFJ)
  • 85% if your income exceeds $34,000 ($44,000 for MFJ).

Your total income includes all of your income plus 1/2 of your Social Security benefits.

For example, if your 1099 income is $12,000 and your Social Security income is $16,000, your “total income” would be $20,000, and 0% of your Social Security would be taxed.

The best way to avoid having your Social Security taxed for 1099 workers is to utilize as many business write-offs as possible so your income stays low. Be sure to use the Keeper Tax app to track your potential write-offs!

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Sarah York, EA

Sarah is a staff writer at Keeper Tax and has her Enrolled Agent license with the IRS. Her work has been featured in Business Insider, Money Under 30, Best Life, GOBankingRates, and Shopify. She has nearly a decade of public accounting experience, and has worked with clients in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, manufacturing, real estate, wholesale and retail, finance, and ecommerce. Sarah has extensive experience offering strategic tax planning at the state and federal level. During her time in industry, she handled tax returns for C Corps, S corps, partnerships, nonprofits, and sole proprietorships. Sarah is a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) and maintains her continuing education requirements by completing over 30 hours of tax training every year. In her spare time, she is a devoted cat mom and enjoys hiking, baking, and overwatering her houseplants.

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