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For higher Social Security payments, consider paying more income tax.

The more income tax you pay, the more in Social Security benefits you may receive. If you pay little or nothing into the Social Security fund, you may get very little or nothing in return when you need it the most. If you want higher Social Security payments, there are definite benefits to paying more income tax.

Many young people view Social Security benefits as something that is hard to grasp. They see it as something that they can worry about in the future, but not today. As you grow older, you begin to realize how important Social Security is because it may very well be the income that you will depend on in the later years of your life.

By all accounts, Social Security should be treated as an investment that will pay dividends when it is needed in your retirement years or if you become disabled and can't work. It should not be viewed as a handout because it is not. You have to pay into the Social Security fund in order to reap the benefits later in life.

Since it is a long term investment, you should pay strict attention to the amount you pay into Social Security and how much you can expect to get back. You should start keeping tabs from the time you start paying into the fund until you reach retirement age.

You should learn as much about Social Security as you can because without this knowledge, you may find yourself of taking what is given to you and not what you deserve. In other words, mistakes can be made that may keep you from getting the maximum amount of Social Security that you are entitled to.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is under reporting your income or using tax deductions to minimize the amount of taxes you will have to pay. This is a serious issue for those who are self employed. It may seem to be a good idea while you are doing it, but it can be detrimental in the long term.

You have to understand that the amount of Social Security you receive is based on the amount of taxes you pay. The less you pay in taxes, the smaller amount you will get when you start collecting your benefits. It may not seem that important now, but when you get older and can't work, it may mean the difference between living comfortably and not being able to make ends meet.

The amount you pay in taxes also has an affect on disability benefits as well as the amount you receive in monthly payments. So it may not be a good idea to avoid paying income taxes, especially if you don't have other streams of income to help pay your living expenses as you get older.

Contact your local Social Security Administration office or go online to www.socialsecurity.gov for the latest updates on benefits and filing requirements.

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