With the new year comes a new tax season. Though the deadline to file is not until April 15, these next couple of months will pass by very quickly. It is important to start getting your tax information together now so you have enough time to prepare a thorough file and to submit it by the deadline.
To help make filing a bit easier, the Social Security Administration released a few tips for handling Social Security matters on your taxes. Here's what you need to know:
Depending on how much you receive in Social Security benefits and how much income you receive, you may have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefits. If your total income and benefits are at least $25,000, you will be responsible for paying federal taxes on some of those benefits. Married couples will have to pay some taxes if their income and benefits are at least $32,000.
You should receive a Social Security Benefits Statements form (Form SSA-1099) by January 31. This will be used to file your taxes.
If you had a child in 2012, you can claim him or her as a dependent on your taxes. You will need a Social Security number for your child, which you can apply for along with the birth certificate in the hospital. However, if you did not apply for the number while you were in the hospital, you can apply directly to the Social Security Administration.
You can also use your child's Social Security number to apply for benefits on his or her behalf (if eligible).
Changing Your Name
If you were married in 2012 and you decided to change your name, you will need to apply for a new Social Security card updated with your new name. Your Social Security number will not change.
It is important to make sure that you have changed your name legally and that you have changed your name with your employer when you apply for a new Social Security card. If there is a discrepancy over your name between your employer and the Social Security Administration, there could be a delay in receiving your Social Security benefits.
Small business owners can easily report their employees' social security taxes and other taxes online. You can simply submit your employees' W-2s online at www.socialsecurity.gov/bso. If you are in danger of missing the deadline for submitting W-2s, then submitting them online buys you a little extra time: The deadline is a month later on March 31.
If you have any questions about how to file for your Social Security benefits or any other issues regarding Social Security and your taxes, it is best to contact the Social Security Administration directly. You can find information online at www.socialsecurity.gov. A qualified certified public account may also be able to offer you some advice and guidance.
* Disclaimer: This is for general informational use only. The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin does not practice tax law, nor are we trained as certified public accountants, and, therefore, cannot give financial or tax advice. Please consult with a tax attorney or certified public accountant to discuss any specific tax questions you may have.