The 2022 maximum Social Security retirement benefits a worker retiring at full retirement age: $3,345/mo
DID YOU KNOW …
97% of U.S. citizens over age 60 either receive Social Security or will receive it.
1 in 4 seniors expect it to be their primary source of income.
Social Security pays benefits to more than 70 million people including retirees, children and surviving spouses.
2022 SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE TAX RATES
If you work for someone else…
Your employer pays 7.65%
You pay 7.65%
If you’re self-employed…
You pay 15.3%
NOTE: The above tax rates are a combination of 6.2% Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare. There is also 0.9% Medicare wages surtax for those with wages above $200,000 single ($250,000 joint filers) that is not reflected in these figures.
Maximum amount you may pay in Social Security taxes
Maximum earnings amount Social Security will tax at 6.2%
165+ million people work and pay Social Security taxes
Social Security has provided financial protection for Americans since 1935
SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENTS EXPLAINED
Social Security retirement benefits are for people who have paid into the Social Security system through taxable income.
Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI) benefits are for people who have disabilities but have paid into the Social Security the system through taxable income.
Supplemental Security Income benefits are for adults and children who have disabilities, plus limited income and resources.
MAXIMUM SSI PAYMENTS
HOW DOES SOCIAL SECURITY WORK?
When you work, you pay taxes into Social Security.
The Social Security Administration uses your tax money to pay benefits to people right now.
Any unused money goes into Social Security trust funds and is borrowed by the government to pay for other programs.
Later on when you retire, you receive benefits.
HERE’S HOW YOU QUALIFY FOR RETIREMENT BENEFITS
When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn credits toward benefits. The number of credits you need to earn retirement benefits depends on when you were born.
If you were born in 1929 or later, you need 40 credits (10 years of work) to receive retirement benefits
The earnings needed to a credit in 2022 is $1,510
4 credits maximum per year
DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN CHECK YOUR BENEFITS STATUS BEFORE YOU RETIRE?
You can check online by creating a my Social Security account on the SSA website. If you don’t have an account, you’ll be mailed a paper Social Security statement 3 months before your 61st birthday.
It shows your year-by-year earnings, and estimates of retirement, survivors and disability benefits you and your family may be able to receive now and in the future.
If it doesn’t show earnings from a state or local government employer, contact them. The work may not be covered within Social Security.
Here are some ideas to lower your business taxes, get organized, and to prepare for filing your 2021 tax return.
As 2021 winds down, here are some ideas to consider in order to help manage your small business and prepare for filing your upcoming tax return.
Identify all vendors who require a 1099-MISC and a 1099-NEC. Obtain tax identification numbers (TIN) for each of these vendors.
Determine if you qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) safe harbor threshold that allows you to deduct certain 2020 expenses on your 2021 tax return.
Consider accelerating income or deferring earnings, based on profit projections.
Section 179, or bonus depreciation expensing versus traditional depreciation, is a great planning tool. If using Section 179, the qualified assets must be placed in service prior to year-end.
Business meals are 100% deductible in 2021 if certain qualifications are met. Retain the necessary receipts and documentation that note when the meal took place, who attended and the business purpose of the meal on each receipt.
Consider any last-minute deductible charitable giving including long-term capital gain stocks.
Review your inventory for proper counts and remove obsolete or worthless products. Keep track of the obsolete and worthless amounts for a potential tax deduction.
Set up separate business bank accounts. Co-mingling business and personal expenses in one account is not recommended.
Create expense reports. Having expense reports with supporting invoices will help substantiate your tax deductions in the event of an audit.
Organize your records by major categories of income, expenses and fixed assets purchased to make tax return filing easier.
Review your receivables. Focus on collection activities and review your uncollectable accounts for possible write-offs.
Make your 2021 fourth-quarter estimated tax payment by January 18, 2022.
There are always moves you can make to reduce your taxable income. Some of these tax-saving moves, however, must be completed by December 31. Here are several to consider:
Tax loss harvesting. If you own stock in a taxable account that is not in a tax-deferred retirement plan, you can sell your underperforming stocks by December 31 and use these losses to reduce any taxable capital gains. If your net capital losses exceed your gains, you can even net up to $3,000 against other income such as wages. Losses over $3,000 can be used in future years. Just be sure you do not repurchase the same stock within 30 days, or the loss will be deferred.
Take a peek at your estimated 2022 income. If you have appreciated assets that you plan on selling in the near future, estimate your 2022 taxable income and compare it to your 2021 taxable income. If your 2022 income looks like it may be significantly higher than 2021, you may be able to sell your appreciated assets in 2021 to take advantage of a lower tax rate. The opposite also holds true. If your estimated 2022 taxable income looks like it may be significantly lower than your 2021 taxable income, lower tax rates may apply if you wait to sell your assets in 2022.
Max out pre-tax retirement savings. The deadline to contribute to a 401(k) plan and be able to reduce your taxable income on your 2021 tax return is December 31. See if you can earmark a little more money from each of your paychecks through the end of the year to transfer into your retirement savings accounts. For 2021, you can contribute up to $19,500 to a 401(k), plus another $6,500 if you’re age 50 or older. Even better, you have until April 18, 2022, to contribute to a traditional IRA and be able to reduce your taxable income on your 2021 tax return.
Make cash charitable contributions. If you’re like 90% of all taxpayers, you get no tax benefit from charitable contributions because you don’t itemize your personal deductions. On your 2021 tax return, however, you may contribute up to $300 in cash to a qualified charity and deduct the amount whether or not you itemize your deductions. Married taxpayers who file jointly may contribute $600. You can make your contribution by check, credit card, or debit card. Remember that this above-the-line deduction is for cash contributions only. It does not apply to non-cash contributions.
Bunch deductions so you can itemize. Are your personal deductions near the amount of the standard deduction for 2021: $12,550 for singles, $18,800 for head of household and $25,100 for married filing jointly? If so, consider bunching your personal deductions into 2021 so you can itemize this year. For most, the easiest way is to bunch two years of charitable contributions into a single year. These can include gifts of appreciated stock where you get to deduct the fair market value without paying capital gains tax.
What you need to know if one of your tax returns is stuck
The IRS is coping with a backlog of historical proportions and it is impacting millions of taxpayers. According to IRS sources, as of July 31, there are still over 13 million tax returns that are to be processed. The nearly unprecedented delay is being attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, under staffing at the IRS, and a slew of recent tax law changes. The challenge is how to navigate the IRS notices if you are caught up in this mess.
Complicating your tax life
You’ve filed for an extension via mail, but the IRS says you haven’t filed your return yet and issues notices and penalties.
You keep getting letters from the IRS after responding to initial inquiries.
You filed your tax return on time, but the IRS says it doesn’t have your return, even though you may have received a confirmation.
What you can do
While you may not be able to get your tax return processed any faster, there are steps you can take to stay informed and make it easier for the IRS to work with your tax situation:
Track your refund status. The IRS has developed an online tool, “Where’s My Refund?” that can provide updates. Find it at https://www.irs.gov/refunds.
Check out IRS2Go. The agency also provides a mobile app called IRS2Go that checks your tax refund status. You can see if your return has been received, approved, and sent.
Stay calm and keep responding. If the IRS sends you notices, keep detailed records of the notices and your timely replies. Eventually, they will get caught up. So keep good records by leaving a digital footprint and back up electronic records with paper versions.
Prior correspondence is your friend. When you’re replying to IRS notifications, attach copies of prior correspondence with your latest letter. Make it easy for the IRS to follow your paper trail by dating each response and keeping the most recent response on top.
Keep proof of delivery. Use express delivery or certified mail to confirm that the IRS receives your responses in a timely manner.
Remember that the IRS is working as quickly as it can to clear this backlog. Please call if you have any questions about a tax return you believe to be stuck because of this situation.