According to the Social Security Administration government site, you can apply for retirement benefits easily online. The U.S. government offers an online application that can be completed in as little as fifteen minutes. You can apply from the comfort of your home at any time convenient for you. There is no need to drive to the Social Security Office or speak to a Social Security representative to apply.
In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. Social Security will process your application and contact you by telephone or by mail if any further information is needed.
You can apply for Social Security Benefits at this link
Who can apply for retirement benefits online?
You can apply online for retirement benefits or benefits as a spouse if you:
• are at least 61 years and 8 months old;
• are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;
• have not already applied for retirement benefits; and
• want your benefits to start no more than 4 months in the future. (We cannot process your application if you apply for benefits more than 4 months in advance.)
The IRS has announced that more than 2 million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) are set to expire at the end of 2018. An ITIN is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS to individuals who are required for U.S. federal tax purposes to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have and are not eligible to get a Social Security number (SSN).
Failure to renew an ITIN in a timely manner can delay one’s ability to file a tax return, and with 2.7 million expected ITIN renewals, acting now to renew ITIN numbers will help taxpayers avoid delays that could affect their tax filing and refunds in 2019.
What U.S. citizens in Mexico need to know about their tax obligations?
Are you one of the more than 1 million expats living out your golden years in Mexico? Social Security and pension checks certainly go far in this tropical paradise, but there are two important things for US expats in Mexico to remember to do in the spring of each year: file a US tax return, file a Mexican tax return. You want to stay tax compliant no matter where you choose to spend your time. Read More
The clock is ticking down to the tax filing deadline. The good news is that you still may be able to save on your impending 2017 tax bill by making contributions to certain retirement plans.
For example, if you qualify, you can make a deductible contribution to a traditional IRA right up until the April 17, 2018, filing date and still benefit from the resulting tax savings on your 2017 return. You also have until April 17 to make a contribution to a Roth IRA.
And if you happen to be a small business owner, you can set up and contribute to a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan up until the due date for your company’s tax return, including extensions. Read More
Do I still have to file and pay U.S. taxes if I live abroad?
This is the most common tax question that U.S. expats ask. Unfortunately, the U.S. tax system is based on citizenship rather than residence, so it doesn’t discriminate where in the world you live.
As a result, expats have to file and pay U.S. taxes on their worldwide income if they earn over $10,000 (or just $400 of self-employment income).
Q. How does the inability of the state of Rhode Island to pay its employee pensions help us understand the “net worth” of a U.S. citizen wanting to renounce U.S. citizenship?
A. The answer (like most wisdom in the modern world) is explained in the following tweet.
You may be able to take the Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled if you were age 65 or older at the end of last year, or if you are retired on permanent and total disability, according to the IRS. Like any other tax credit, it’s a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax bill. The maximum amount of this credit is constantly changing.
You can take the credit for the elderly or the disabled if: Read More
Generally, your Social Security (SS) benefits are not taxable until your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is more than the base amount for your filing status. MAGI is your regular AGI (without Social Security income) plus 50% of your Social Security income plus tax-exempt interest income plus certain other infrequently encountered modifications.
The base amounts (threshold where the SS benefits become taxable) are:
• $25,000 if you are single, a head of household, a qualifying widow or widower with a dependent child, or married filing separately and did not live with your spouse at any time during the year;
• $32,000 if you are married and file a joint return; Read More
If you work in an industry where it is customary to receive a portion of your income from customer tips, you are required to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on those earnings. However, it is only possible to pay these taxes during the year if you report your tip income to your employer. If you receive cash and charge tips of $20 or more per month from any one job, you are required to report these to your employer. If you did not report all of these tips to your employer, you are required to report and pay the additional Social Security and Medicare taxes that should have been paid on these unreported tips. This you do as follows:
• You must complete Form 4137, Social Security and Medicare Tax on Unreported Tip Income. This form is used to calculate the tax in these unreported tips. Read More
My husband and I chartered a course ourselves long ago in the stormy waters of visas, tax treaties and tax consequences. Considering taxes have just got even more complicated, so its no surprise that I field quite a lot of questions from various visa holders especially foreign students on F-1 visas. Suffice to say that the range of information for foreign students is too much to cover in one blog post, so I will focus on the main points. If you need any more information, you know where to reach me!
If you are a foreign student, you already know from your university that you are one of those who are subject to special rules with respect to the taxation of your income. Usually a foreign student is on an F, J, M, or Q visa. Read More