The taxability of your benefit is determined by your level of income and your filing status. If Social Security is your only income, the benefit is probably not taxable because your income will be less than the base amount required for taxes to be assessed. But, if there was income coming in from other sources, you will need to determine whether taxes apply.
To make a quick determination, divide your Social Security benefit in half and add that amount to all of the other income from that tax year. This includes interest from banks and other investments as well as interest from tax-exempt securities such as state and municipal bonds. Compare this total to the following base amounts:
- $25,000 for single, head of household, qualifying widow(er) with a dependent or married individuals filing separately who did not live with their spouse at any time during the year.
- $32,000 for married couples filing jointly
- $0 for married persons filing separately who lived together at any time during the year.