Stuck in a loop with IRS form 1040-SR and social security benefits
April 15, 2022 12:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm helping my recently widowed mom with her taxes, using form 1040-SR. YANMMA. I'm trying to calculate the taxable portion of her SS benefits. Using Worksheet 1 (IRS pub 915) "Figuring your taxable [ss] benefits," I hit line 7 of worksheet 1, which requests the "total of amounts from Schedule 1 (form 1040) lines 11 through 20 and 23 and 25."

The problem is that to arrive at a number for line 11, you must enter taxable amount of social security benefits on line 6b. If I knew what to put in line 6b already, there would be no need for Worksheet 1! Argh, help!

I've already applied for an extension, so we're good on that front.
posted by Larry David Syndrome to Law & Government (5 answers total)
I've been thinking way too much about FICA tax recently because of work and happened to have come across just this thing a few days ago.
This page may help. I think it's circular because in order to determine how much of your social security you pay tax on you have to add what you receive in social security to your other income, and only then can you calculate the tax owed.
posted by phunniemee at 12:54 PM on April 15, 2022

Best answer: It's line 11 (et seq) from Schedule 1 (adjustments to income), not line 11 from form 1040 or 1040-SR (adjusted gross income). It's almost the same number as line 26 on Schedule 1, just without the student loan interest deduction. You may not have any adjustments at all on that page of Schedule 1, and even if you do the important number is the total of all those lines (except the student loan interest deduction). As long as that total is less than the number you have in line 6 of Pub. 915 Worksheet 1 (and zero would be less) then none of the SS benefits are taxable.
posted by fedward at 1:02 PM on April 15, 2022 [9 favorites]

A lot of local libraries have live tax help for free right now. Maybe one of yours does?
posted by Miko at 1:52 PM on April 15, 2022

Taxes are a nightmare. go to the Library first
posted by Windopaene at 2:51 PM on April 15, 2022

I'm in the same situation as your mother and I used and it figured all that stuff out for me. It was easy, did my taxes a month ago.
posted by mareli at 4:44 PM on April 15, 2022

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