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Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Social Security Income - Back Payments


Rev. date: 1/2010


I received social security benefits this year that were back benefits for prior years. Do I amend my returns for prior years? Are the back benefits paid in this year for past years taxable for this year?

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You cannot amend returns for prior years to reflect social security benefits received this year. You must include the taxable part of a lump-sum payment of benefits received in the current year (reported to you on Form SSA-1099) in your current year's income, even if the payment includes benefits for an earlier year.
However, there are two ways to determine the amount of income to include: