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(2) In figuring the taxable amount of social security benefits, I'm working from a SSA-1099 that DW received. One thing that struck us immediately is that the figure there is far in excess of the monthly payments that she has actually received from SS. They also say on that form that a certain dollar amount of the sum total was paid in 2010 for for 2009. We don't quite get that.

Have you checked deposits to the account to which she has her SS deposited? She may not remember, but it sounds like she received a lump sum payment in 2010 that included payments for 2009. Either because she requested payments retroactive to her full retirement age or due to a delay in processing.
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