TN 2 (03-08)

GN 05001.020 Handling the Taxation of Benefits Inquiry

A. Policy

FO and PSC personnel and 800 Number Agents can resolve most questions with a general explanation of whether the statement is correct.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is responsible for assessing and collecting taxes. Therefore, SSA employees will not answer questions about taxation such as:

  • Will my benefits be taxed?; or

  • How much of my benefits will be taxed?

Field Office (FO) personnel and the Agency’s National 800 Number Agents may provide the following information regarding:

1. Taxation

Refer the individual to IRS Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits for additional information. Individuals can request IRS publications from the IRS by calling 1-800-829-3676, or by accessing the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov.

If beneficiaries have to pay taxes on their Social Security benefits, they can make quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS or choose to have federal taxes withheld from their benefits. If a beneficiary elects to have federal taxes withheld from his or her Social Security benefits, mail IRS Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request (GN 05002.016).

2. Correctness of Statements

Although the benefit statement is usually correct, some individuals may believe the figures are incorrect. When presented with this problem, FO personnel and 800 Number Agents can resolve most questions by reviewing the benefit statement with the beneficiary and comparing the information in the statement to the MBR and PHUS. For SSA-1099, replacement and corrective procedures see “FO/800 Number Referrals to the PSC for Replacement SSA-1099s” (GN 05002.046)

3. Effect on Entitlement

Provide a general explanation of taxation as it relates to month of election, suspension of benefits or withholding of benefits to recover overpayment. The claimant must make the decision on filing. Do not raise this issue on your own initiative.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0205001020
GN 05001.020 - Handling the Taxation of Benefits Inquiry - 03/24/2008
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:03/24/2008