The Easy Way to Get a Social Security Statement for Taxes

An older woman lowers her eyeglasses in surprise while holding a document
Photo by Alex SG / Shutterstock.com

It’s that time of year again, time to gather the documents you need for filing your 2019 federal income tax.

If you receive Social Security retirement 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 you lost it, you can easily view, print or download a copy online via your Social Security account, provided that 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, here’s how to get your latest annual benefit statement via your account:

  1. Sign in to your account, which brings you to your Overview page.
  2. Click on “Replacement Documents” in the list at right.
  3. Scroll down to Form SSA-1099/SSA-1042S, and click to open your document.
  4. View, print or save your benefit statement.

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 to sign up.

Registering is simple. You must be at least 18 years old. In addition, have your:

  • Social Security number
  • Valid email address
  • U.S. mailing address

Click the button at SSA.gov/myaccount to create a new account and follow the directions. You’ll be asked to verify your identity, create a user name and password and confirm a security code sent to your phone number or email address.

Don’t worry if your credit report has a fraud alert or security freeze. Follow the Social Security Administration’s instructions for lifting it temporarily.

Note: After creating an account, you can opt out of receiving Social Security correspondence by mail, instead receiving it through your account. If you wish to do this, follow the directions on the administration’s “Opt Out of Paper Mailings” 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, and order a new Social Security card, from your account.

Additionally, registering for your account can thwart identity thieves, as we detail in “3 Free Ways to Protect Your Social Security Number.”

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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