Tax Withholding and Railroad Retirement Payments
RRB Form TXB-25 (01-2015)
Regular railroad retirement annuities consisting of tier 1, tier 2, and
vested dual benefit components, have been subject to United States Federal
income tax since 1984. Supplemental annuities have been subject to Federal
income tax since 1966.
Taxable as a Social Security Benefit
The portion of the tier 1 component of a railroad retirement annuity that is
equivalent to what the Social Security Administration would pay if railroad
service were covered under the Social Security Act is treated the same as a
Social Security benefit for Federal income tax purposes. Special guaranty
amounts paid to some railroad retirement beneficiaries are also treated like
Social Security benefits for Federal income tax purposes. The portions of a
railroad retirement annuity that are taxable the same as Social Security
benefits are generally referred to as social security equivalent benefits (SSEB).
To find out whether any of your social security equivalent benefits are
taxable, you must compare the base amount for your filing status with the total
- All your taxable income, including taxable pensions, wages, interest, and
- Your tax-exempt interest income, and
- One-half of your social security equivalent benefits.
Your base amount is:
- $25,000 if you are single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er),
- $25,000 if you are married filing separately and lived apart from your
spouse at all times during the year,
- $32,000 if you are married filing jointly, or
- $ -0- if you are married filing separately and lived with your spouse at
any time during the year.
If your taxable income and tax-exempt interest income, plus one-half of the
amount of your social security equivalent benefits, is more than your base
amount, some of your benefits may be taxable.
You can choose to have taxes withheld from the SSEB portion of your railroad
retirement annuity by filing IRS Form W-4V. File the completed form at any
Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) office. Forms W-4V are available at any IRS
offices. The RRB will not withhold taxes from the SSEB portion of your annuity
unless you file IRS Form W-4V.
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Taxes on the Non-Social Security
Equivalent Benefit Portion of Tier 1, Tier 2 Benefits, Vested Dual Benefits, and
Supplemental Annuity Payments
The non-social security equivalent benefit (NSSEB) portion of tier 1
benefits, tier 2 benefits, vested dual benefits, and supplemental annuity
payments are considered taxable income regardless of the amount of any other
income you may have. These portions of your annuity are subject to Federal
income tax withholding. If you file Form RRB W-4P to have taxes withheld based
on your marital status and tax withholding allowances, we will withhold taxes
from these portions of your annuity. We will not withhold taxes from the SSEB
portion of your annuity unless you also file IRS Form W-4V.
Railroad retirement annuities are not taxable by states in accordance with
section 14 of the Railroad Retirement Act (45 U.S.C. § 231m). The RRB will not
withhold state income taxes from railroad retirement payments.
Purpose of Form RRB W- 4P
Form RRB W-4P is used by United States citizens or legal residents for U.S.
tax purposes. Complete Form RRB W-4P to request:
- no Federal taxes be withheld from your railroad retirement payments,
- Federal taxes be withheld based on the marital status and the number of
allowances you want to claim, or
- an additional amount be withheld from your railroad retirement payments.
If you live outside the 50 states or Washington D.C., Guam, and the Northern
Mariana Islands, see the Note in the following section.
You are not required to file a Form RRB W- 4P. However, if you do not file
and your combined
taxable NSSEB, tier 2, vested dual benefit, and supplemental annuity components
of your monthly railroad retirement annuity exceed $1720.00 we will
automatically withhold taxes as if you were married and claiming three allowances.
File Form RRB W- 4P no earlier than 6 months before the date your annuity is
subject to tax withholding. We will adjust your withholding according to your
RRB W- 4P request. Your request remains in effect until you change or cancel it
with a new Form RRB W- 4P. You may file a new Form RRB W- 4P at any time. The
adjustment to your payment will serve as notification that your request is in
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How to Complete Form RRB W- 4P
Complete items 1 through 6 and item 11. If you answer "Yes" to item 6, also
complete items 7 through 10, as appropriate.
Item 1, RRB Claim Number, and
Item 3, Your Social Security Number:
Be sure to provide your RRB Claim Number and your Social Security Number.
Item 6, Withholding or No
Answer "Yes" if you want Federal income tax withheld from your railroad
Answer "NO" if you do not want Federal income tax withheld from your
railroad retirement payments. If you answer "NO" to item 6, remember that having
no tax withheld from your annuity payments does not reduce the amount of the
taxes you may owe. There are penalties for not paying enough tax during the
year, either by tax withholding or by estimated tax payments. Internal Revenue
Service Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, explains estimated
tax payments and penalties in detail.
We may not accept a "No" tax withholding election on Form RRB W-4P if:
- The individuals' United States social security number is not provided on
the form or
- The individual resides outside the 50 United States, Washington D.C., Guam
and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. If the "No" box is
completed, the RRB will withhold taxes as if married and claiming three
Item 7, Marital Status:
Enter your marital status for tax withholding purposes.
Item 8, Withholding Allowance:
Enter the number of withholding allowances you claimed in item 8. Use the
worksheets on pages 5 and 6 to figure the number of your allowances. Generally,
the more allowances you claim, the less tax is withheld. If you have more than
one pension or annuity or if your spouse also has a pension or annuity, you may
claim all of your allowances on one Form RRB W-4P or you may claim some on each
Form RRB W-4P, but you may NOT claim the same allowances more than once. Your
withholding will usually be more accurate if you claim all allowances on the
Form RRB W-4P for the largest payment and claim zero on all other Forms RRB
Note: The worksheets are only guides. They will give only approximate
withholding allowance information.
Item 9, Additional Dollar Amount
withheld from Annuity payments:
Answer "Yes" if you want an additional dollar amount withheld from your monthly
benefits. This additional amount, which is computed on line 1 of the Multiple
Pensions/More Than One Income Worksheet on page 6 will be added to any
tax withholding amount computed based on the marital status and number of
allowances you have entered in items 7 and 8 of Form RRB W- 4P.
If you do not want an additional dollar amount withheld from each payment,
fill in the "NO" box and go to item 11.
Item 10, Additional Dollar
Enter the additional dollar amount you want withheld from each annuity payment.
This includes all accrual payments regardless of the amount of the accrual. Use
the amount from line 1 of the Multiple Pensions/More Than One Income Worksheet
on page 6. Show whole dollars. Do not show cents.
Item 11, Signature and Date
The form must be signed to be valid.
It should be signed and dated by the person who is responsible for signing any U.S. income
tax return filed on the social security number entered in item 3.
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Each payment you receive will be taxed based on what you claim on your RRB W-
4P. This includes accrual payments. If what you claimed on your RRB W-4P along
with item 10 (additional amount) is more than the accrual payment we will also withhold the entire accrual payment. Even, if the
tax withholding amount calculated is more than the accrual payment, we cannot
withhold any portion of your SSEB, unless IRS Form W- 4V is
filed with the RRB.
Annuity Payments and Taxes Withheld
No later than January 31 following the tax year, you will receive a statement
showing the total annuity payments made to you during the preceding calendar
year. This statement also shows the total amount of any taxes withheld from your
payments. Use this statement to complete any income tax return you must file
with the Internal Revenue Service for the tax year.
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You may request a refund of any excess taxes withheld by filing an income tax
return with the Internal Revenue Service after the end of the tax year. If you
decide that too much tax is being withheld from your railroad retirement
benefits, you can request a change in your withholding by filing a new Form RRB
W- 4P and/or Form W-4V.
For Further Information
Contact the nearest office of the Internal Revenue Service if you need more
information about taxation, tax withholding, your personal tax obligations, or
if you need help completing Form RRB W- 4P. Contact the nearest office of the
RRB for any information you need about your railroad retirement payments.
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability
Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and RRB regulations, no
qualified person may be discriminated against on the basis of disibility. RRB
programs and activities must be accessible to all qualified applicants and
beneficiaries including those who are vision or hearing-impaired. Disabled
persons needing assistance should contact the nearest RRB office. Complaints of
alleged discrimination by the RRB on the basis of disability must be filed
within 90 days in writing with the Director of Administration, Railroad
Retirement Board, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago Illinois 60611-2092. Questions
about individual rights under this regulation may be directed to the RRB's
Director of Equal Opportunity.
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Paperwork Reduction and Privacy Act Notices
The information requested on Form RRB W-4P is required to carry out the
Internal Revenue laws of the United States. The Internal Revenue Code requires
this information under section 3405(e) and 6109 of their regulations. Failure to
provide this information may result in inaccurate withholding on your payment(s).
Routine uses of this information include giving it to the Department of Justice
for civil and criminal litigation, and to cities, states and the District of
Columbia for use in administering their tax laws. You are not required to
provide the information requested on a form that is subject to the Paperwork
Reduction Act unless the form displays a valid OMB control number. Books or
records relating to a form or its instructions must be retained as long as their
contents may become material in the administration of any Internal Revenue law.
Generally, tax returns and return information are confidential, as required by
The time needed to complete this form will vary depending on individual
circumstances. The estimated average time is:
Learning about the Law or the form
Preparing and sending the form
If you have suggestions for making Form RRB W-4P simpler, send them to the
address shown below. Please DO NOT return the form to this address.
Chief of Information Resources Management
U.S. Railroad Retirement Board
844 North Rush Street, 4th floor
Chicago, IL 60611-2092