Hampton, NJ asked in Tax Law

Q: does our son who collects social security disability have to file a tax return and pay income taxes on that income

my wife and i have been supporting our son for the past 25 years he lives with us and he suffers from mental and physical problems. we claim him as our dependent since we provide more then half of his living expenses. he is concerned that he thinks he may have to pay income tax on his disability social security and that he has never filed income tax returns for that ss money he receives

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1 Lawyer Answer
Linda Simmons Campbell
Linda Simmons Campbell
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Burlington, CT

A: Most people whose sole income is social security do not have to pay taxes on the income. The best way to determine if he should have been filing is to prepare mock returns for the years that he received social security and see if he would have had to pay any taxes. There can be some benefits to filing a "zero" return (no taxes withheld or due) and it would not hurt for him to do so. If he chooses to do that just remind him when he is filing the return that you have claimed him as a dependent. You also want to make sure that his income is not exceeding the amount that he can earn and still be considered your dependent. Filing a "zero" return would remind you to check the income limits for a dependent. For example, in 2020 that amount was $4,300 (gross).

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