Do Missourians Have to Pay Federal Income Tax on Their Social Security Checks?

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Individual states are moving away from taxing Social Security benefits, and this includes Missouri. Missouri has taxed Social Security benefits in the past, but started in 2007 on the path to reducing the taxation of Social Security retirement or disability benefits. A taxpayer must be age 62 to qualify for the tax reduction. You must also fall within the gross income guidelines. Federal income taxes follow federal Internal Revenue Service regulations, and combined income is the standard for federal taxation of Social Security benefits.

Missouri Taxation

  • Missouri limits deductions for Social Security benefits to individuals with less than $85,000 adjusted gross income if you are single, head of household, or a qualifying widow or widower. The same limitation exists for married individuals filing separately. If you are married filing jointly, your income must be below $100,000 to take advantage of the Missouri deduction for Social Security benefits. Missouri deducts 80 percent of your Social Security income in 2011 if you qualify and deducts 100 percent for qualifiers in 2012.

Federal Taxation

  • Whatever state you live in, your federal income taxes on Social Security benefits are the same. Combined income calculations determine taxation of Social Security benefits on the federal level. Combined income is your adjusted gross income plus 50 percent of Social Security benefits and your nontaxable interest. If this figure is more than $25,000, you may owe federal income taxes on your Social Security benefits in Missouri.

Calculations

  • The IRS taxes 50 percent of Social Security for recipients filing individually whose combined income is $25,000 to $34,000. Married filing jointly taxing of 50 percent of Social Security benefits starts at $32,000 and extend to $44,000. The IRS taxes 85 percent of Social Security benefits for individuals earning a combined income in excess of $34,000 or couples with a combined income figure greater than $44,000. If your only income is Social Security, you will not pay federal income taxes on your Social Security benefits in Missouri. If you have other income, you may pay federal income taxes.

Age

  • You do not escape federal income taxation of Social Security benefits when you reach full retirement age. Full retirement age is 66 for most Social Security recipients in 2011. This age group with birth dates from 1943 to 1954 reaches full retirement age at 66. Although Social Security penalties for earned income end at full retirement age, you will pay federal income tax on your Social Security benefits so long as your income is above the limits. You cannot avoid federal taxation of Social Security benefits by filing your federal taxes separately from your spouse. You may not have to pay any state income taxes on your Social Security benefits in Missouri after 2012.

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