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Visitor III

Social Security benefits for prior years

I received social security benefits in 2017 that included a lump-sum benefit for 2014-2016. Are these benefits taxable this year, or can I spread them out somehow?

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TurboTax Specialist

Social Security benefits for prior years

It depends. You might need to pay taxes on a small portion of your lump-sum payment. However, you might be able to avoid these taxes by apportioning prior year benefits to those previous years’ income (without filing any amended returns). TurboTax will ask you about this during the entry interview for Form SSA-1099.


See this post for more information: What is a lump-sum Social Security payment?