My child is a dependent receiving Social Security benefits. How do I report these benefits?

You aren’t taxed on Social Security Benefits for your Dependants. Since your child is the person with the legal right to receive these Social Security Benefits, they’re only taxable to her. These benefits are reported on her return if she files a return. This is true even if the benefits are deposited in your account.

Your child's Social Security benefits are tax-free as long as her provisional income is less than the base amount. The base amount is $25,000 for a single person. Provisional income is the total of:

  • 50% of her Social Security benefits
  • Other taxable and tax-exempt income

So, if your child has other income besides Social Security, she might be taxed on some of her benefits. Her other income might include taxable scholarships and wages from a job. Also, your child's Social Security benefits might be a factor if you can claim her as a dependent. For the support test, the Social Security benefits your child spends on her own support are considered provided by her. This is regardless of whether the benefits are taxable.

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So how much will you get (or owe) this year? That’s the million-dollar question. We happen to have three very useful calculators to help you estimate your refund or balance due.

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