My Blog
Technology

Social Security COLA Increase: Do You Have to Pay Taxes on the Additional Money This Year?


Social Security beneficiaries in 2023 received a record-high 8.7% cost of living adjustment increase on their monthly checks. The higher monthly payments could make filing taxes a bit more difficult this year due to higher taxes you might owe.

Keep in mind that if your only source of income comes from your Social Security benefits, you likely don’t need to file a tax return — but this statement can help you find out. If you receive other income, such as from a job, the COLA increase could have placed you in a higher tax bracket. We’ll explain.

Keep reading to find out if your taxes will be affected by the 2023 COLA increase. For more Social Security details, here’s why you don’t want to throw away that COLA letter you got last year. Here’s the Social Security payment schedule, and how to file your tax return for free. Also, check out CNET’s best tax software for 2024.

Read more: File Early and Get Up to 20% Off Your 2023 Taxes With TurboTax

Can Social Security beneficiaries be affected by the 2023 COLA increase?

Tax Tips logo

Yes, but not all recipients will notice a change in their taxes. As mentioned above, if you receive income only from Social Security benefits, you’re typically not required to file a tax return, which means you don’t pay taxes on your benefits.

If you receive income from other sources in addition to your benefits, you could potentially be taxed at a higher rate, depending on how much money you make. This is because while you received an 8.7% increase on your benefits, the tax threshold for tax filers hasn’t changed, Mark Jaeger, vice president of tax operations at TaxAct, told CNET. That increase could mean more individuals will see a higher amount of taxes. 

There’s an advantage. The IRS adjusted the tax brackets for inflation, Jaeger said, making the standard deduction about 7% higher year over year. This may help offset some of the taxes Social Security beneficiaries could have to pay. 

For the 2024 tax year, the standard tax deduction for single filers has been raised to $14,600, a $750 increase. For those married and filing jointly, the standard deduction has been raised to $29,200, a $1,500 increase.

How much will you be taxed?

To find out how much you could be taxed, start by taking a look at your combined income. This includes your adjusted gross income, nontaxable interest and half of your new Social Security benefit amount from 2023. Here’s how it breaks down

  • If you’re a single tax filer and your combined income is between $25,000 and $34,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50% of your benefits.
  • If you’re a single tax filer and your combined income is more than $34,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 85% of your benefits. 
  • If you’re filing a joint return and your combined income is between $32,000 and $44,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50% of your benefits.
  • If you’re filing a joint return and your combined income is more than $44,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 85% of your benefits. 
  • If you’re married filing separately and didn’t live with your spouse last year, your Social Security benefits are taxed as if you were a single filer.

What if I also receive other government benefits?

If you receive other government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income or are eligible for the earned income tax credit, the same rules apply to you if you also meet the criteria above, Jaeger said.

For instance, if you’re still working and your combined income is $32,000, you’d be taxed on up to 50% of your benefits. If you’re making $38,000, you’d be taxed on up to 85% of your benefits.

What are the tax brackets for the 2024 tax season?

Find out where you fall in the tax bracket below.

Single filers

Taxable income Tax rate
$11,600 or less 10%
$11,601 – $47,150 $1,160 plus 12% of income over $11,600
$47,151 – $100,525 $5,426 plus 22% of income over $47,150
$100,526 – $191,950 $17,168.50 plus 24% of income over $100,525
$191,951 – $243,725 $39,110.50 plus 32% of income over $191,950
$243,726 – $609,350 $55,678.50 plus 35% of income over $243,725
$609,351 or more $183,647.25 plus 37% of income over $609,350

Married, filing jointly

Taxable income Tax rate
$23,200 or less 10%
$23,201 – $94,300 $2,320 plus 12% of income over $23,200
$94,301 – $201,050 $10,852 plus 22% of income over $94,300
$201,051 – $383,900 $34,227 plus 24% of income over $201,050
$383,901 – $487,450 $78,221 plus 32% of income over $383,900
$487,451 – $731,200 $111,357 plus 35% of income over $487,450
$731,201 or more $196,669.50 plus 37% of income over $731,200

Head of household filers

Taxable income Tax rate
$16,550 or less 10%
$16,551 – $63,100 $1,655 plus 12% of income over $16,550
$63,101 – $100,500 $7,241 plus 22% of income over $63,100
$100,501 – $191,950 $15,469 plus 24% of income over $100,500
$191,951 – $243,700 $37,417 plus 32% of income over $191,150
$243,701 – $609,350 $53,977 plus 35% of income over $243,700
$609,351 or more $181,954.50 plus 37% of income over $609,350

For more, here’s how to tweak your W-4 Form to get a higher tax refund (and why you probably shouldn’t). Also, here’s when to expect your tax refund once you file your taxes and a tax filing cheat sheet.



Related posts

Highest Credit score Playing cards for Honest and Moderate Credit score for Might 2022

newsconquest

The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom: What to Know Before Playing

newsconquest

iOS 17.3 Beta 1: What Could Be Coming to Your iPhone Soon

newsconquest

Leave a Comment