Help! I need a simple answer, and the IRS won't pick up the phone.

Un-fucking-believable During the government shutdown, Trump made sure that IRS workers were classified as “essential” government employees to process tax refunds. I’m not sure why, since they seem to have all of the time in the world. I just called the IRS with a simple question and was informed that in non tax season, information is available online only. These people get a longer summer hiatus s than the cast of The Orville.

So, I’m turning to a member of the wonderful Kos community with some tax accounting experience to set me on the right road on what I believe is a very simple question.

As many of you are probably aware, I have spent the last several months in the tortuous process of trying to work through a medical disability claim with the Social Security Administration sans a lawyer. I am overjoyed to be able to report that the initial claim was successful, and in late September I will receive my first monthly payment.

Now, here’s the question. According to SSA, for a couple filing jointly, a joint income total of under $32,000 is tax free. But what happens if the couple has an annual income, including the disability benefits of, say, $38,000? Does the entire $38000  become taxable income, or only the $6,000 that’s over the $32,000 threshold? 

The answer to that simple question may help me to decide if it’s worth looking into filing separately. since my disability is nowhere near $32,000 a year, or if the amount of tax will be small enough on the $6,000 to not miss it much from the amount my wife already pay, or even to simply have them withhold a clean 7% from my benefits…

All stems from the answer to that one question…Is there a Kossack out there who can enlighten me to this conundrum? I’, betting that there is, and I thank you for your kind assistance in advance!

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