ask rusty

It’s a fact that, between the IRS and Social Security, there are a plethora of separate rules. In fact, Social Security has over 2000 separate regulations, and the IRS has many more. Yet both are completely separate government agencies with different purposes. So it should not be surprising that people who collect Social Security and who also pay income taxes (remember, paying taxes is one of life’s inevitable events) sometimes become confused.

Confusion often results when those with a 401(k) tax deferred investment plan start withdrawing from that plan. How those withdrawals affect income tax, and whether they affect Social Security benefits, is often cloudy in most minds, as illustrated by this question posed to our Ask Rusty program. In his response, Rusty seeks to clarify the Social Security aspects of taking withdrawals from a 401(k) tax deferred investment plan by someone who wishes to avoid paying taxes on his Social Security benefits. Click here to read this encore edition of the January 2024 Ask Rusty article or click here to listen to Rusty’s podcast.

This article is intended for information purposes only and does not represent legal or financial guidance. It presents the opinions and interpretations of the AMAC Foundation’s staff, trained and accredited by the National Social Security Association (NSSA). NSSA and the AMAC Foundation and its staff are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other governmental entity. To submit a question, visit our website ( or email us at [email protected].