Social Security in 2017

Automatic cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) were created for Social Security benefits in 1975. The COLA for 2017 is 0.3%. Here are the basic Social Security numbers in 2017 for your reference.

Tax rate for employees 7.65%
Tax rate for self-employed 15.30%

Maximum earnings taxable
Social Security wage base $127,200
Medicare wage base no limit

Retirement earnings test exempt amounts
Under full retirement age $16,920
($1 in benefits is withheld for every $2 in earnings above the limit.)
For the year in which full retirement age is reached $44,880
($1 In benefits is withheld for every $3 in earnings above the limit, but only for months prior to reaching full retirement age.)
After full retirement age is reached no limit

Taxation of Social Security benefits
Singles with a “provisional income”*below $25,000  no tax on benefits

rom $25,000 to $34,000 tax on 50% of benefits

over $34,000 tax on up to 85% of benefits

Marrieds filing a joint return with a “provisional income”* below $32,000 no tax on benefits
from $32,000 to $44,000 tax on 50% of benefits
over $44,000 pays tax on up to 85% of benefits

Maximum Social Security benefit at normal retirement age $2,687

*The IRS defines “provisional income” as your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) plus nontaxable interest plus one-half of your Social Security benefits. (MAGI is adjusted gross income plus tax-exempt income.)

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