Is Annuity Income Taxable?

You may have heard that annuity income is taxable, but you’re not sure if that’s true for your specific situation. 

It can be confusing to figure out whether or not your annuity income is taxable, and the rules vary depending on the type of annuity you have.

In this article, we have tried to cover the taxable or nontaxable nature of annuity and help you understand how annuity income is taxed in your specific case.

Is annuity income taxable? Although annuities are tax-deferred, annuity income is still taxable. Annuity withdrawals and lump sum disbursements are taxed as ordinary income and do not qualify for the capital gains tax exemption.

Is Annuity Income Taxable?

An annuity can be defined as a systematic payment, typically made over time. Generally, the annuity payout is determined at the beginning of the contract and does not change. The term “annuity income” is typically used when describing a nonqualified annuity.

A qualified annuity is that type of investment whereby you contribute to the contract during your working years in order to generate income for your retirement years.

You are then taxed on the annuity income that you receive under this type of annuity, although the initial contribution is not taxable at the time of payment.

Nonqualified annuities are subject to taxation. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers annuity payments as ordinary income. The taxation of annuities depends on the type of annuity, your age, and how long you’re planning to hold the policy.

Annuities are tax-deferred. However, this does not imply they are a method to avoid taxes entirely. This simply indicates that taxes aren’t payable until you receive annuity payments. Annuity withdrawals and lump sum disbursements are taxed as ordinary income and do not qualify for the capital gains tax exemption.

What Proportion Of My Annuity Is Taxable?

The majority of your payment is tax-free, and it’s split evenly among the anticipated payments; the earnings portion, on the other hand, is taxed as regular income. However, suppose you live to be 95 years old. Your complete payouts will be taxed as ordinary income during those “additional” five years since the principle has been utilized.

Calculating Taxes On Annuity Income

When it comes to taxes, the most crucial piece of information about your annuity is whether it’s in a qualified or non-qualified account.

Qualified Annuity Taxation

A qualified annuity is one that was funded with money on which no taxes had previously been paid. These annuities are generally financed with funds from 401(k)s or other tax-deferred retirement accounts, such as IRAs.

When you receive money from a qualified annuity, it is fully taxable as income. That’s because no taxes have been paid on that money yet.

If certain conditions are satisfied, annuities purchased with a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) are entirely tax-free.

Non-Qualified Annuity Taxation

If you’re buying an annuity with after-tax money, which has been recorded to the IRS as income and taxed accordingly, it’s not qualified. Non-qualified annuities are only subject to tax on the gains.

The exclusion ratio determines the amount of taxes on non-qualified annuities. The percentage of annuity income payments that are taxable is determined by the exclusion ratio. The idea is to determine if a withdrawal or payment from an annuity comes from the principle that has already been taxed and how much comes from taxable earnings.

The total amount of income earned over the annuity’s lifetime, including any interest earned and contribution past due, is divided by the total value of all benefits paid out.

Any annuity payments received after the annuitant’s life expectancy has been exceeded are completely taxable.

The annuitant’s life expectancy is used to calculate the exclusion ratio, which is meant to distribute principal withdrawals over the annuitant’s lifetime. Any remaining income payments or withdrawals are considered to be from earnings once all of the principles have been taken into account.

How To File Annuity Income On Your Federal Tax?

The taxable component of your pension or annuity payments is usually subject to federal income tax withholding.

Following are the steps to consider in order to file your federal tax on annuity income:

  • You have the option of not having your pension or annuity payments taxed (unless they’re eligible rollover distributions) or setting how much tax is taken from them.
  • If you are a government employee, provide the payer Form W-4P, Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments, or a similar form provided by the payer along with your social security number (SSN).
  • If you’re a US citizen or resident alien, you must provide the payer with your home address in the United States (or its possessions) to opt-out of tax withholding.
  • Payers usually calculate pension or annuity payouts the same way they do regular wages and salaries. If you don’t complete a Form W-4P, the payer must withhold tax as if you were married and claimed three allowances.
  • Even if you fill out a Form W-4P PDF and choose a lower amount, the tax will be withheld as if you were single and without any allowances if you don’t give the payer your correct SSN.
  • If you pay your taxes through withholding and the withheld amount isn’t enough, you may also need to make estimated tax payments to avoid overpaying taxes throughout the year.
  • For more information on increasing withholding tax, making planned tax payments, and the consequences of not withholding the appropriate amount of income, go to Publication 505, Tax Withholding, and Estimated Tax.

State Tax On Annuity Income:

Avoiding the premium tax is usually straightforward for individuals thinking about an annuity. Most states don’t charge it on annuities. There are a few planning choices available to people living in one of the seven states that impose the tax.

A premium tax is a fee, charged by each state, on the gross premium written by insurance companies attributable to risks located in that state. before reinsurance ceded but after salvage and subrogation, gross written premium (GWP) refers to premiums before any additions have been made.

The states have a lot of power over annuities. Rates, features, and perks can all vary significantly depending on the rules and personal tax codes of each state.

The individual states determine which aspects of a product are acceptable to sell. Some jurisdictions control how and to whom annuities may be sold. Others restrict the type of riders available for purchase.

States may also have different rules for each variety of annuity. Annuities are all considered insurance products by states, but some annuities are also considered securities by certain jurisdictions.

Regardless matter where your annuity is issued, it’s a good idea to talk with a financial advisor about which kind of annuity would be ideal for you.


Taxes are a part of life, but that doesn’t mean you have to be taxed on all of your income. If you’re interested in annuities as an investment vehicle for retirement or other financial goals, it’s worth noting that they are not exempt from taxation – just deferred until the time when payments are received.

Annuity withdrawals and lump sum disbursements will be subject to taxes as ordinary income (which does qualify for capital gains tax exemption) so make sure you account for this before investing in one!