Understanding If Your Social Security Benefits are Taxable: A Guide for Tax Season

Tax season has officially begun, and for Social Security beneficiaries, it's essential to understand if their benefits are taxable.

The Social Security benefit statement, also known as Form SSA-1099, plays a crucial role in determining the taxability of these benefits.

In this article, we will explore the importance of the Social Security Benefit Statement and how it can help beneficiaries navigate their tax obligations this year.

What is the Social Security Benefit Statement?

The Social Security Benefit Statement is a document that shows the amount of benefits earned in the previous year. It is issued annually by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and it is vital for beneficiaries when completing their federal tax returns.

This statement, also referred to as Form SSA-1099, contains important information that can clarify whether Social Security benefits are subject to tax.

Determining Tax Obligations

For individuals whose primary source of income is their monthly Social Security benefits, filing a tax return may not be required. However, those who have additional sources of income alongside their benefits may find it challenging to determine their tax obligations.

The Social Security Benefit Statement becomes a valuable tool in this scenario as it provides clarity on the taxable portion of the benefits.

Receiving the Social Security Benefit Statement

The SSA typically mails out the benefit statements during January, before the start of the tax season.

However, beneficiaries can also access their statements through the My Social Security online account.

It is important to keep an eye on the mailbox for the physical copy or to log in to the online account for a digital version of the statement.

Lost or Misplaced Benefit Statement

In the event that the benefit statement is lost or misplaced, US residents can request a replacement online through the My Social Security account. Simply log in and look for the "Replace Your Tax Form SSA-1099/SSA-1042" link.

For individuals residing outside the US, it is recommended to reach out to the Federal Benefits Unit for assistance.


As tax season kicks off, understanding the taxability of Social Security benefits is crucial for beneficiaries with additional sources of income. The Social Security Benefit Statement, provided by the SSA, offers clarity on whether these benefits are subject to tax.

By staying informed and keeping track of this important document, Social Security recipients can confidently meet their tax obligations without any confusion.