Knowing when Social Security benefits are taxable can be confusing, and many taxpayers leave it to their CPA or tax-preparation software to let them know if they were taxed on Social Security income in a given tax year. In reality, it's not very difficult to estimate how much of your Social Security benefits may be subject to tax. 

The key is to become familiar with a concept called "combined income." To arrive at combined income, taxpayers should add one-half of Social Security benefits received to adjusted gross income. In the accompanying video, Fool contributor Asit Sharma discusses combined income and offers easy steps on how to use it to estimate what portion of your benefits may be taxable. 

Making Social Security work for you
Understanding the tax implications of your Social Security benefits is one of the first steps to gaining control over this important source of income. Our retirement experts have compiled effective strategies to help maximize your benefits in our brand-new free report, "Make Social Security Work Harder For You." Don't miss their insights on making the key decisions that can increase your monthly Social Security income, and help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

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