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Can’t find your 1099? Take a look online

By: Angelo Bottoni, Social Security
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We're deep into tax season, and the days left for filing are numbered. Millions of taxpayers are busy gathering all the forms and documents they need to file their federal, state and local tax returns. It is important to remember that some people who receive Social Security may have to pay taxes on a portion of their benefits. If you're one of these individuals, a Social Security Benefit Statement (Form SSA-1099) is an important tax document for you to have. If you normally don't file a tax return and are doing so this year only because of the stimulus payment, you don't need your 1099. But if you normally do file a tax return, you should be sure that you have one when you file this year. The SSA-1099s for tax year 2007 were automatically mailed to beneficiaries by Jan. 31. If you or someone you know who receives Social Security has not yet received a Form SSA-1099 for 2007, but need to file a tax return, there's no need to worry. You can request a replacement online at www.socialsecurity.-gov . The SSA-1099 shows the total amount of benefits received in the previous year and is used to find out if any benefits are subject to tax, and to complete a federal income tax return. The federal tax laws about Social Security benefits state that: n Up to 50 percent of Social Security benefits may be subject to income tax for individuals with a combined income between $25,000 and $34,000, or for couples with a combined income between $32,000 and $44,000; and n Up to 85 percent of Social Security benefits may be subject to income tax for individuals with a combined income above $34,000, or for couples with a combined income above $44,000. (Note: Combined income means adjusted gross income, plus nontaxable interest, plus one-half of Social Security benefits.) About a third of current Social Security beneficiaries have incomes that exceed the thresholds, requiring them to pay taxes on a portion of their Social Security benefits. For more information on taxation of Social Security benefits, visit the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov. Remember that if you normally don't file a tax return and the only reason you plan to this year is to receive your stimulus payment, you won't need a 1099 for that. All you need to do is to fill out an estimate of how much your benefits were during 2007 based on your monthly payment amount on an IRS form 1040 or 1040A. For more information about Social Security, or to request a replacement SSA-1099, visit www.socialsecurity.gov. Or you can call Social Security's toll-free number, 1(800)772-1213 and ask for a replacement SSA-1099. Question: I got Social Security benefits last year and wasn't planning to file a tax return. But I heard that I may want to file a tax return to get the stimulus payment offered by the government. Should I? Answer: Yes. If you received Social Security benefits last year, you may be entitled to an economic stimulus payment, or tax rebate, from the federal government “ even if you otherwise wouldn't plan on filing a tax return. The IRS will begin sending stimulus payments to more than 130 million taxpayers in May. If you have filed or plan to file a 2007 tax return, no other action is necessary. If you receive Social Security and did not file a 2006 tax return, the IRS will send you a package over the next couple of months, which includes everything you need to file a 2007 return and receive a stimulus payment. In this situation, if you no longer have your form 1099, you do not need a replacement form. Instead, simply estimate your total annual benefit on your 2007 tax return. For more information go to the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov. “ Angelo Bottoni is the district manager of the Social Security office in Roseville.