Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Income — Social Security Benefits; Form 1040, Line 20a

Social Security and Railroad Retirement Benefits

How Benefits Are Reported to Taxpayers

Form SSA-1099

Social security benefits are reported on Form SSA-1099. Taxpayers who did not receive Form SSA-1099 or have misplaced it, can obtain a printout of benefits from their local social security office or request a replacement by accessing the Social Security Administration's web site at

Form RRB-1099

Tier 1 railroad retirement benefits are equal to the social security benefit that a railroad employee or beneficiary would have been entitled to receive under the social security system. These benefits are called "social security equivalent benefits" and, for tax purposes, are treated like social security benefits. They are shown on the blue Form RRB-1099.


Jacob is a retired railroad switchyard operator. Using the intake and interview sheet, the volunteer determined that Jacob received Railroad Retirement Benefits. He received Form RRB-1099 and Form RRB-1099-R. The amount from Form RRB-1099 will be added to any amount of social security benefits.

Box for net benefits on Form SSA-1099 and on Form RRB-1099