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IRS.gov Website
Publication 17
taxmap/pub17/p17-057.htm#en_us_publink1000171913

How To Report Your Benefits(p83)

rule
If part of your benefits are taxable, you must use Form 1040.
taxmap/pub17/p17-057.htm#en_us_publink1000171914

Reporting on Form 1040.(p83)

rule
Report your net benefits (the total amount from box 5 of all your Forms SSA-1099 and Forms RRB-1099) on line 5a and the taxable part on line 5b. If you are married filing separately and you lived apart from your spouse for all of 2018, also enter "D" to the right of the word "benefits" on line 5a.
taxmap/pub17/p17-057.htm#en_us_publink1000171916

Benefits not taxable.(p83)

rule
Report your net benefits (the total amount from box 5 of all your Forms SSA-1099 and Forms RRB-1099) on Form 1040, line 5a. Enter -0- on Form 1040, line 5b. If you are married filing separately and you lived apart from your spouse for all of 2018, also enter "D" to the right of the word "benefits" on Form 1040, line 5a.
taxmap/pub17/p17-057.htm#en_us_publink1000171917

How Much Is Taxable?(p83)

rule
If part of your benefits are taxable, how much is taxable depends on the total amount of your benefits and other income. Generally, the higher that total amount, the greater the taxable part of your benefits.
taxmap/pub17/p17-057.htm#en_us_publink1000171918

Maximum taxable part.(p83)

rule
Generally, up to 50% of your benefits will be taxable. However, up to 85% of your benefits can be taxable if either of the following situations applies to you.
taxmap/pub17/p17-057.htm#en_us_publink1000171919

Which worksheet to use.(p83)

rule
A worksheet you can use to figure your taxable benefits is in the instructions for your Form 1040. You can use either that worksheet or Worksheet 1 in Pub. 915, unless any of the following situations applies to you.
  1. You contributed to a traditional individual retirement arrangement (IRA) and you or your spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work. In this situation, you must use the special worksheets in Appendix B of Pub. 590-A to figure both your IRA deduction and your taxable benefits.
  2. Situation 1 doesn’t apply and you take an exclusion for interest from qualified U.S. savings bonds (Form 8815), for adoption benefits (Form 8839), for foreign earned income or housing (Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ), or for income earned in American Samoa (Form 4563) or Puerto Rico by bona fide residents. In this situation, you must use Worksheet 1 in Pub. 915 to figure your taxable benefits.
  3. You received a lump-sum payment for an earlier year. In this situation, also complete Worksheet 2 or 3 and Worksheet 4 in Pub. 915. See Lump-sum election next.
taxmap/pub17/p17-057.htm#en_us_publink1000171921

Lump-sum election.(p84)

rule
You must include the taxable part of a lump-sum (retroactive) payment of benefits received in 2018 in your 2018 income, even if the payment includes benefits for an earlier year.
Deposit
This type of lump-sum benefit payment shouldn’t be confused with the lump-sum death benefit that both the SSA and RRB pay to many of their beneficiaries. No part of the lump-sum death benefit is subject to tax.
Generally, you use your 2018 income to figure the taxable part of the total benefits received in 2018. However, you may be able to figure the taxable part of a lump-sum payment for an earlier year separately, using your income for the earlier year. You can elect this method if it lowers your taxable benefits.
taxmap/pub17/p17-057.htm#en_us_publink1000171923
Making the election.(p84)
If you received a lump-sum benefit payment in 2018 that includes benefits for one or more earlier years, follow the instructions in Pub. 915 under Lump-Sum Election to see whether making the election will lower your taxable benefits. That discussion also explains how to make the election.
EIC
Because the earlier year's taxable benefits are included in your 2018 income, no adjustment is made to the earlier year's return. Don’t file an amended return for the earlier year.