By Ellen Zwierzynski
Social Security District Manager in Elizabeth
Time goes by so quickly, it can be easy to forget important deadlines and even easier to let critical items fall to the nether regions of your to-do list. Whether you get to everything or not, time marches on — so we’d like to share some March reminders with you.
Tax Time is right around the corner. If you haven’t filed your tax return yet, now is the time. But before you begin, you should make sure you have everything you need. For example, if you plan to claim your children or any other dependents on your tax return, you’ll need to have a Social Security number for each individual. If you don’t already have a Social Security number for a dependant, you better get to it right away. Applications and evidence requirements are available online at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.
Request your 1099 online. If you receive Social Security benefits and your total annual income is $25,000 or more for an individual or $32,000 or more for a couple, you may need to pay taxes on a portion of your Social Security benefits. If so, you’ll need your SSA-1099, which shows the total amount of benefits received in the previous year. All 1099s were mailed by January 31, 2010. If you receive Social Security and have not yet received a 1099 for 2009, you can request a replacement online at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.
Easy as A, B, C. If you’re covered under Medicare Part A, but originally opted not to apply for Medicare Part B, now’s the time to enroll in Part B. You’ll have to act fast, because the general enrollment period ends on March 31. Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay, some home health care, and hospice care. Part B helps pay for doctors’ services and many other medical services and supplies not covered by hospital insurance. Learn more about Medicare by reading Social Security’s publication on the subject at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10043.html.
A few minutes now can change your retirement for years. If you’re not already retired and receiving benefits, there’s no better time than the present to visit Social Security’s Retirement Estimator for an instant, personalized estimate of your future retirement benefits. Spend a few minutes trying out different scenarios to figure out what retirement options will work for you — and what plans you may want to make now to benefit you in the future. You can do it in minutes at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.
We can’t stop time from marching on, but taking some time out now to focus on these important reminders can save you a lot of time in the future. For more information about Social Security, visit us on the web at www.socialsecurity.gov.
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