It’s that time of year again: time to gather the documents you need for filing your federal income taxes.
If you receive Social Security benefits, you’ll need a copy of your latest annual Social Security Benefit Statement, also known as Form SSA-1099 (or Form SSA-1042S for nonresident aliens). It includes the amount of benefits you received last year, which you must report on your federal tax return.
The Social Security Administration mails benefit statements each January. But if yours hasn’t come yet or if you lost it, you can easily view, print or download a copy online via your online Social Security account, provided you live in the United States.
Following are step-by-step directions for getting your benefit statement this way. If you don’t have a Social Security account yet, we will walk you through creating one too.
How to get a copy of your Social Security statement online
If you already have a Social Security account at SSA.gov, you can get a copy of your annual benefit statement by logging into your account through the Replacement SSA-1099 webpage. (If you don’t yet have a Social Security account, you’ll have to create one first.)
Another option is to request your statement through the Social Security Administration’s automated phone assistance. It’s a toll-free number available 24/7 with English, Spanish and teletypewriter (TTY) options.
How to create a Social Security account
If you haven’t already registered for a Social Security account, also called a “my Social Security” account, go to SSA.gov/myaccount and click the “Create an Account” button.
You’ll be asked to verify your identity, create a username and password for your account, and confirm a security code sent to your phone number or email address.
Part of the verification process may include answering questions based on information that appears on your credit report. Don’t worry if there is a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit report. Follow the Social Security Administration’s instructions for lifting it temporarily. If you don’t want to do that, you can contact your local Social Security office for assistance.
Note: After creating an account, you can opt out of receiving Social Security correspondence by mail and instead receive it through your account. If you wish to do this, follow the directions on the administration’s “Opt Out of Mailed Notices That Are Available Online” page.
Why open a Social Security account
A Social Security account is worth having. It is useful for tracking your Social Security statements and payments.
You can also see your earnings history and estimated future benefits as well as order a new Social Security card, if needed.
Additionally, registering for your account can thwart identity thieves, as we detail in “Don’t Overlook This Way to Protect Your Social Security From Identity Thieves.”