February 22, 2024

Tax season is kicking off on Jan. 29, which is when the IRS will begin accepting and process tax returns. As a Social Security beneficiary, you’ll need your Social Security benefit statement to file. This letter will also help you find out if your benefits are taxable this year — especially with last year’s 8.7% COLA increase.

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Those statements should be circulating through the mail this month, so if you haven’t received yours yet, keep an eye on your mailbox. If you have received it but you lost it or accidentally threw it away, we’ll explain what to do.

We’ll explain what this statement is and why it’s important. Here’s more on whether you’ll need to file your taxes this year as a Social Security recipient.

What is the Social Security Benefit Statement? 

The Social Security Benefit Statement, also known as Form SSA-1099, shows you the benefit amount you earned last year. (Non-citizens living outside the US receive SSA-1042S instead.) The statement provides beneficiaries with information they can use when they complete their federal tax return. 

The Social Security Administration has been sending out this form annually since 1999, according to the SSA’s website. Supplemental Security Income recipients do not receive this statement. 

What should I use the statement for? 

Generally, Social Security recipients don’t have to file a tax return if their primary source of income is their monthly benefits. But for those who have other sources of income as well as Social Security benefits, it can be harder to tell whether they are or aren’t required to submit a tax return or what percentage of their income is taxable. That’s where the Social Security Benefit Statement comes in handy. 

The Social Security Benefit Statement helps you find out whether your benefits are subject to tax. It shows you how much you earned in benefits from the previous year. You’ll use this form when you or a tax preparer prepares your taxes. 

When should I expect to receive this form?

The SSA disburses these statements by mail or through your My Social Security online account throughout January, before the start of tax season. 

I misplaced my benefits statement. What should I do?

US residents can get a replacement form SSA-1099 by visiting their My Social Security online account and requesting a replacement. After you’ve logged in to your account, find the link that says Replace Your Tax Form SSA-1099/SSA-1042. If you live outside the US, the SSA recommends contacting your Federal Benefits Unit.

Here’s how to resolve your Social Security problems and get in touch with an SSA representative.