During your working days, you pay Social Security tax in the form of withholding from your salary or self-employment tax. And when you start receiving Social Security benefits, you may be surprised to learn that some of the payments may be taxed.

If you’re getting close to retirement age, you may be wondering if your benefits are going to be taxed. And if so, how much will you have to pay? The answer depends on your other income. If you are taxed, between 50% and 85% of your payments will be hit with federal income tax. (There could also be state tax.)

A photo of sheets of paper and a notebook being used to calculate the taxes from Social Security benefits.
Important: This doesn’t mean you pay 50% to 85% of your benefits back to the government in taxes. It means that you have to include 50% to 85% of them in your income subject to your regular tax rates.


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The Board of Trustees for the Social Security Trust Fund report have issued the wage base for Social Security for 2014.

Currently, the estimated base for 2014 is $115,500. If you’re curious, they’ve estimate out to 2022 with an estimated $165,600 base.

Social Security guesses the Trust Fund will be zero around 2033.

Do you