Is There Any Way To Go Back And Get Social Security Credits For Previous Years?

Aug 29 2019 - 4:49pm

I gave everything to our tax man and he did our taxes. I’m 62 now and find out I only got credit for working for 4 of the 10 yrs I worked. Is there a way to go back and get credit, for ss, for some of the last 3 yrs. I’m will ing to pay if nessesary.


If you worked for wages and received a W-2 form, your earnings should be posted to your Social Security earnings record regardless of what was shown on your tax return. If you received any W-2 forms that aren't posted to your record and you have sufficient proof of those earnings, you could get credit for those earnings from Social Security regardless of how many years have passed.

Based on the description in your question, though, it sounds like you must have been self-employed or worked as an independent contractor. To get Social Security credits for that type of work you would have to report a net profit on your tax return and pay the appropriate self-employment (i.e. Social Security) taxes. If you showed a net loss or a net profit of less than $400 on your tax return in the 6 years for which you received no credit, then your Social Security earnings record would correctly reflect no earnings in those years.

If you were self-employed and had a net profit of at least $400 and did pay self-employment taxes in any years that don't show up on your Social Security earnings history, Social Security can credit you with the missing earnings as long as you have proof of the earnings (e.g. tax return) and proof that you paid self-employment taxes.

On the other hand, if you didn't pay self-employment taxes because you didn't report a net profit in the years in question, you can't go back and voluntarily pay Social Security taxes in order to receive Social Security credits.
However, if you actually did have a net profit of more than $400 in any years but incorrectly reported no earnings on your tax returns you could potentially file an amended tax return to report your correct earnings. BUT, if you report self employment earnings on an amended tax return you can only receive Social Security credit for those earnings if you file the amended return within 3 years 3 months and 15 days from the end of the tax year in question. Thus, if you report net earnings from self-employment on an amended tax return filed between now and April 15 2020, the only years for which you could potentially receive Social Security credits are the years 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Best, Jerry