How much, if any, of your Social Security benefits are taxable depends on your total income and marital status.  Generally, if your only income for the year is Social Security benefits, it is not taxable.  If you received income from other sources or have income from tax-free municipal sources, your benefits will not be taxed unless your modified adjusted gross income is more than the base amount for your filing status.

The base amounts are: $32,000 for married couples filing jointly, $25,000 for single, head of household, qualifying widow/widower with a dependent child, or married individuals filing separately who did not live with their spouses at any time during the year.

You can do the following quick computation to determine whether some of your benefits may be taxable.  First, add one-half of the total Social Security benefits received to all your other income, including any tax-exempt interest and other exclusions from income.  Then compare this total to the base amount for your filing status. If the total is more than your base amount, some of your benefits may be taxable.

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