Earnings Subject To Social Security Taxes

Can I Earn Social Security Credits By Paying Taxes On Earnings I Had In The 1980s?

We lived overseas for three years in the late 1980s. I was teaching part-time in a local school. We reported the income (income earned abroad) to the IRS in order for me to be able to add funds to my IRA account. However, we did not pay Social Security or Medicare taxes on this income. I have 34 years of income reported to SSA, so in that regard I am OK. However, adding these three years of income, even if we must pay additional SS and Medicare taxes, would likely increase my SS payment when I retire--adding the 35th year and deleting one or two of my lower earning years.

May I Put Money Into The Social Security System?

I work in the advertising industry as a free-lancer for production companies that service ad agencies that produce television commercials. May I put money in the Social Security system?


If you are self-employed operating a trade or business, then the answer is yes, assuming that you have a net profit of at least $400 annually. In fact, it is actually required. For more information, see this pamphlet from Social Security: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10022.pdf.

Best, Jerry