Can I Pay Social Security Taxes Retroactively?

Jan 19 2017 - 7:00am

I am 72 years old and do not collect SSI as I do (did) not have enough credits. Three years ago I became a paid part time caregiver to my daughter, who is disabled. I am paid by DSHS, state of WA. At the time I did not elect to pay into SSI because I did not think I would need to continue doing this long enough to qualify for benefits. Now that three years have gone by and I am still doing it, I would like to know if I can pay the SSI taxes retroactively in order to qualify. If so how would I go about accomplishing this?

Hi Brenda,

If DSHS does not withhold Social Security taxes on their payments to you, the only way you could get Social Security credits is by paying self-employment taxes on the earnings. You would not owe self-employment taxes on these payments in most cases, unless you operate a trade or business (e.g. day-care). Refer to this reference from the IRS website:

If you determine that the DSHS payments are subject to self-employment taxes, you can pay the taxes and get Social Security credits retroactively for up to 3 years, 3 months and 15 days. Right now, that includes the years 2013 through 2016. For years 2013-2015, you would likely need to file amended tax returns and pay any additional taxes and penalties owed. For more information on filing an amended tax return, refer to the IRS website:

Best, Jerry