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How to Pay Taxes on Retirement Savings & Social Security

1.

Collect the tax documentation received from the managers of your retirement accounts and the Social Security Administration. You should have received an IRS 1099-R Form for each retirement account you are receiving distributions from. In addition, the Social Security Administration should have sent a benefit statement or SSA-1099 Form indicating the total amount of Social Security benefits received.

2.

Download IRS Form 1040-A and the instructions for completing the form at the IRS forms and instructions website. Find the form and instructions by typing "1040-A" in the text box and clicking "Find." Print the documents and carefully review the instructions for completing Form 1040-A.

3.

Begin filling out the form by providing your personal information and your filing status and listing dependents you are claiming. If you received a W-2 Form from a source of income in addition to retirement income, write the income amount on Line 7 of Form 1040-A.

4.

Fill in the information on Lines 11a and 11b from the 1099-R Forms received for IRA accounts. Additional information about completing Lines 11a and 11b can be found on Page 25 of the instructions for Form 1040-A.

5.

Enter the total amount of annuity and pension payments received from your 1099-R Forms on Line 12a of Form 1040-A. To calculate the taxable amount of these benefits, complete the worksheet on page 27 of the instructions. Write the amount calculated on Line 12b of Form 1040-A.

6.

Enter the amount of Social Security benefits received as written on your Social Security benefit statement on Line 14a of Form 1040-A. To calculate the taxable amount of these benefits, complete the worksheet on Page 29 of the instructions. Write the amount calculated on Line 14b of Form 1040-A.

7.

Complete Form 1040-A by calculating your adjusted gross income, providing information about deductions and determining if you owe taxes on your retirement income. Sign and submit the form to the IRS along with all supporting documentation including your 1099-R Forms and Social Security benefit statement.

Tips and Warnings

  • The IRS provides tax preparation assistance and tax counseling for seniors. Additional information about these services is available at the IRS website about tax preparation for seniors (see the resource below).


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