Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay
Courtesy: Social Security Administration

Spring training for major league baseball teams began in March. As you prepare to meet the April 15 deadline to file your taxes, here are some Social Security tax tips to help you hit the ball out of the park!

If you changed your name due to marriage or divorce, or made another legal name change, make sure you change your name on your Social Security records and with your employer. Changing your name on all of your records will avoid a “mismatch” with our records (which could delay your tax return) and improper recording of your earnings. To learn more about your Social Security number and changing your name, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.

You will need Social Security numbers for your children if you want to claim them as dependents on your tax return. In most cases, parents request a Social Security number for their newborn child at the hospital when applying for a birth certificate. If you did not apply for a number for your child then, you can apply at your local Social Security office or by mail. Claiming your dependents will maximize your tax refund or minimize any amount you owe. To learn more, read our online publication, Social Security Numbers For Children, which is available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.
THIRD BASE (Bases loaded)
If you receive Social Security benefits, you will need to pay federal taxes on some of your benefits if your total income, including Social Security and all other taxable income, is $25,000 or more and you file federal taxes as an individual. Married couples filing joint returns need to pay federal taxes on income of $32,000 or more. To learn more about taxes and your Social Security benefits, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/taxes.htm.

Now that you’re working hard and earning Social Security credits, you can check your Social Security Statement online. Doing so will ensure that you have all your bases covered for the years you’ve worked. You can open or access your personal my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

If you own a small business, Social Security has a free electronic filing option that allows you to prepare and submit W-2s for your employees at www.socialsecurity.gov/employer. Registering online gives you freedom from paper forms — and it’s free, fast and secure.
Follow these tips and cover all your bases. To learn more about Social Security, visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay is Social Security’s public affairs specialist in Hawai‘i.

Question: I know I shouldn’t carry my Social Security card with me, so I always keep it in a safe place. But, somehow, I lost it. How do I get a replacement card?
Answer: As long as you know your Social Security number, you probably will not need a replacement. For most purposes, your number is your card. If, however, you do need to get a replacement, you can get one for free. Although you cannot apply for a card online, you can learn which identification documents you will need and fill out the replacement card application at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.

Question: I have been planning for my retirement throughout my career and am finally nearing the age where I can retire. What is the earliest age I can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits?
Answer: You can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. Keep in mind that if you retire at age 62, your benefits will be reduced by as much as 30 percent of what you would get if you wait until your full retirement age. If you wait until your full retirement age (66 for people born between 1943 and 1954), you’ll get your full benefit. You can also wait until age 70 to start your benefits. We will then increase your benefit because you earned delayed retirement credits.
When you are ready to apply for retirement benefits, use our online retirement application. It’s the quickest, easiest and most convenient way to apply. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/retireonline.


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