Taxation of Railroad Retirement Benefits

file9411346624378Railroad Retirement Bureau benefits seem confusing to the uninitiated.

Here’s a brief summary of how the taxation of these benefits works.

Tier I Benefits

Tier I RRB benefits are reported on Form RRB-1099. These benefits are considered the equivalent of Social Security benefits and are taxed exactly the same way. If you have both Tier I benefits and regular Social Security benefits, you combine the two amounts and report it all as Social Security income.

Follow the rules for taxation of Social Security benefits to determine how much, if any, of the benefits are taxable.

Tier II Benefits

Tier II benefits are reported on Form RRB-1099-R. These benefits are the equivalent pension distributions.

These benefits are reported on Line 16 of Form 1040.

A somewhat-difficult situation can arise if you have after-tax basis (shown in Box 4 of the RRB-1099-R). In that case, you follow the annuity rules for pensions for determining how much of the benefit is taxable.

More to Come

In future blog posts, I’ll go into more detail, with examples.