Retirees should do a Paycheck Checkup to make sure they are paying enough tax during the year by using the Withholding Calculator, available on IRS.gov. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted in December 2017, changed the way tax is calculated for most taxpayers, including retirees.
Because of this law change, retirees who receive a monthly pension or annuity check may need to raise or lower the amount of tax they pay in during the year. The easiest way to do that is to use the Withholding Calculator or read Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax. Though primarily designed for employees who receive wages, this online tool can also help those who receive pension or annuity payments on a regular schedule, usually monthly or quarterly.
Taxpayers who do not choose to have taxes withheld from their income should make estimated tax payments. This income includes pension and annuity income, and the taxable part of social security benefits. Estimated tax payments are due quarterly. The remaining due dates for 2018 payments are Sept. 17, 2018 and Jan. 15, 2019. Taxpayers can pay their taxes anytime throughout the year as long as they indicate the tax year and where to apply the payment. They can visit IRS.gov/payments to explore all IRS payment options.
Here are some things retirees should know about their withholding and using the calculator:
Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax
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