AMAC In The Media / Opinion / Politics / Press Releases

AMAC Seeks End to “The Tax on Aging”

taxWASHINGTON, DC, Oct 2 — “No one likes to pay taxes.  But, it can be downright painful if you are elderly and your income from Social Security is not enough to support retirement.  So you try to make ends meet by taking on a job.  And then you learn that not only do you have to pay taxes on your earnings from that job but also on your Social Security income, which you funded in the first place with taxes you paid when you were working full time,” says senior activist Bob Carlstrom.

Carlstrom says it is time to put an end to what he calls: “the tax on aging.”

He notes that it is getting tougher and tougher each year for seniors to make ends meet as the cost of living continues to rise.  According to the National Institute on Retirement Security, “The burden of preparing for retirement is increasing as workers face more risk and rising costs. Escalating housing, healthcare, and long-term care costs in retirement are creating retirement obstacles for Americans.”

Carlstrom, president of AMAC Action, the advocacy affiliate of the Association of Mature American Citizens, says that he and AMAC are determined to see the law changed.  They are promoting a bill in Congress that would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to remove the inclusion of Social Security and tier I railroad retirement benefits in an individual’s taxable gross income.

Social Security benefits were initially exempt from federal income tax, but in 1983, Congress approved recommendations from the National Commission on Social Security Reform to tax the benefits of some higher-income Social Security beneficiaries.

Carlstrom notes that the definition of “higher income” has changed dramatically in the ensuing 37 years.  As he put it in a letter to Members of Congress.

“Every year, millions of seniors become eligible for either Social Security or tier I railroad retirement benefits. After working for decades, paying taxes on their hard-earned income to fund these federal programs, some seniors are forced to pay income tax on the benefits they receive from the federal government. Taxing benefits which were created from already taxed funds is nonsensical and curtails retirement benefits seniors have been promised. Seniors deserve to reap the full benefits of their hard work from career-long contributions to Social Security and the Railroad Retirement Plan.”

The Senior Citizens Tax Elimination Act would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to remove the inclusion of tier I railroad retirement benefits and Social Security benefits in an individual’s gross income.  As this legislation takes effect, seniors will notice their tax liability is significantly reduced. Seniors will no longer be burdened with the “double tax” on their federally earned benefits.

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Phil B
1 year ago

18 million us are getting killed by SS tax. This should never have happened. Also even if you keep the tax there is no cola. The deductiion remains the same

Shirley Marvin
1 year ago

Well, if all FICA was again in it’s own fund and not the general fund and not accessed by anyone to help out the downtrodden-illegals and so forth then those of us that put in would be better off

Larry Trammell
1 year ago

I am all for eliminating the tax on Social Security but I do not understand the logic behind the argument. I thought that social security was paid from employee and employer tax on earnings (split evenly between employee and employer). This would mean that the social security payments were taken from ordinary income prior to other taxes being applied. Is this not true?

1 year ago

How about doing away with the marriage penalty on ss income. A couple would pay less taxes if not married filing as individuals, versus filing as a married couple.

Kathleen C Dambra
1 year ago

I agree with others here that many older couples cannot get married as it will reduce their income. I was widowed at 41…my husband made good money and was only 48 when he died. I was never able to match the income he made…i worked until I was disabled at age 60. I did remarry at age 43….i was not going to live in sin in front of my husbands three daughters. But I bet I’m losing out on at least $500/month.

Dan B
1 year ago

I’m 56 work very hard and this is very scary. At this rate ( life as a senior in America}, ill be homeless and on the streets before, during, and after taxes. Come on Government do YOUR jobs. Help the ones who help you. Take care of the people, who takes care of you. Talk about hand outs? Maybe I should get into government.

Jeanette Fenton
1 year ago

Fantastic. it is crazy we get charged twice on this money! Even though it is a pitance of a benefit, it certainly helps. And we already paid the taxes on it when earned.

Jack Thomas
1 year ago

The Senior Citizen Tax Elimination Act H.R. 3971 originally sponsored by Rep. Tom Massie, R-KY is a bill that should have been passed and signed into law by President Trump long ago. Congressional approval is way overdue; it’s time this initiative stops floating around in various committees and gets to the Senate floor for a vote.

There’s no compelling reason why SS benefits should be taxed a second time (for Federal income tax purposes) years after American seniors paid into the system all their working lives. From a compassionate standpoint (and I’ve been saying this for years now) there’s also no compelling reason why any American senior citizen should face the cruel choice each month of buying either food or needed medicine. Not here, not in the richest nation in the world. It’s simply unacceptable and inexcusable.

Shirley Franklin-Simons
1 year ago

It is a shame that the Politian’s have the power to play with our SS money and think that retired people can live on it. Many retired folks must think SS will help them when they retire and they don’t plan any further. I am thankful that my parents taught me to “put some away for a rainy day”. Inflation eats away at our SS, Savings, and additional cost of living. We do need a COLA every year no matter the economy. If the Politian’s would not be able to take from this fund, it probably would help retirees with the COLA each year. I don’t appreciate Pelosi’s hand in our SS fund for her pet projects as she has personally made millions while in Congress, and not on her salary but “on the take”. Once retired, we should not pay tax unless retirement comes before 65 for some lucky ones, or it could be a certain “cap” on income. My SS helps but I could not live on it. When my husband died, all I got from his SS was $330/mo. The law should be changed so that the spouses’ SS can go to the widow/widower. Thank you for helping retirees.

Donald Davenport
1 year ago

When you are working, your Payroll Tax is 6.2% for Social Security; when you retire your taxed for Social Security Benefits at a 12% Rate Bracket, this is an 85% increase in tax rates.  When you are working your Payroll tax is 1.45% for Medicare; when you retire your taxed for Medicare Benefits at a 12% Rate Bracket, this causes a 275% increase in tax rates. How can this be Constitutional?

1 year ago

STOP PEOPLE! There will always be taxes on things that we pretend ought not be taxed. Yes, pretend. We can’t say out of one side of our mouths “the government oughta…….(build roads, help with health insurance, give everybody old a minimal income, blah blah)” and not expect to have taxes. Curb your appetite, people. Only then will there be a low tax rate. As they say, “Do the math.”

Jack Davis
1 year ago

My s doesn’t pay the rent if our kids weren’t living with us we couldn’t make in Calif.
Our gas tax is outrageous And Gov. Nuisance is looking for more hopefully someday California will get there act together and realize who are enemies are.

1 year ago
Reply to  Jack Davis

I’ve always wondered WHY the people in CA continue to pick a Democrat for Gov. & pack their State legislature with Democrats. ESPECIALLY when anyone I
talk to from CA says, well I did not vote for him/them So WHO IS VOTING THESE crazy people into office? They’re destroying the state of CALIFORNIA! I was Thankful I don’t live there, but NOW they’re swarming out into surrounding states! Escaping? Well, GUESS WHAT! They continue to support DEMOCRATS!
So don’t tell me you didn’t vote for them, I see what you’re doing to MY STATE!! ?

1 year ago
Reply to  Jack Davis

they are like parasites, they will suck you dry and move on, why do think they want open borders? they want a new and never ending supply!

1 year ago

I agree, the tax should be eliminated. Very much needed with healthcare costs escalating and out of control. I also agree with term limits for Congress.

1 year ago

As the US Federal & each State governments gobble more & more of OUR money to spend on strange & useless-to-us boondoggles we need to demonstrate that the power they hold derives from the consent of the governed… US. VOTE like your life depends on it, because *IT DOES*!

1 year ago

Social Security and Medicare are socialist programs devised by that great commie FDR. End them now and put that money toward paying down the deficit!

Edith L Kukuk
1 year ago
Reply to  Misty

end SS. great idea, then there will be more homeless people than non- homeless. When all of your money is spent on surviving, it is impossible to save for retirement. Senior citizens eventually get to where they can’t work. Have you been to a nursing home lately??? Those who have been able to save a substantial amount of money for retirement, do not need SS. The rich can retire in comfort, but the poor only get poorer.

1 year ago

I am so glad AMAC is addressing this issue and really hope you are successful in getting the tax on SS repealed.

Faith Rose
1 year ago

Thankyou for your efforts our behalf. One reason one sees so many elderly working is that their benefits are not adequate. In addition, before they even get their pay, close to, or more than $300 is deducted for part B and supplemental insurance. Then a separate amount has to be paid for a totally inadequate drug policy. This last three months we have had to expend cloe to $1500 for medicines AFTER DEDUCTIBLE was applied.

1 year ago

Thanks to AMAC for working on this problem. I would like to see a little bit more data on total dollar taxes per year that are paid to IRS for the SS wages before I decide. I personally am aware of many retired people that are struggling to make ends meet with SS checks only, but on the other side there are retirees with over $100 thousand yearly income that receive monthly check also ( which is fair as they have paid into FICA their working life like others).

Nick Ponzio
1 year ago

You don’t mention anything about eliminating the “IRMA” Rule, but I would suppose that if you eliminate taxing social security most retirees would not come under this rule.

John Cousineau
1 year ago

Simple question what about military retirement pay that is from tax dollars.

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