Friday, August 19, 2022

Do You Get Taxed On Life Insurance

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When a policyholder is diagnosed with a terminal illness and given a life expectancy of under two years, they have the option of receiving some or all of their death benefit prior to dying. It makes sense for someone who needs the funds to pay for medical care. Essentially, they become their own beneficiary and are not required to pay taxes on the proceeds.

Two: Life Insurance Trusts

The second way to transfer a life insurance policy is to create an irrevocable life insurance trust and then hold the policy in trust. Once you transfer ownership of life insurance to the trust, you’re no longer the owner, and the proceeds won’t be part of your estate.

Why create a life insurance trust, rather than simply transfer a life insurance policy to someone else? One reason can be that there’s no one you want to give your policy to. In other words, you want to get the proceeds out of your taxable estate, but you want to exert legal control over the policy and avoid the risks of having an insurance policy on your life owned by someone else — perhaps a spouse or child you don’t trust to pay policy premiums. For example, the trust could specify that the policy must be kept in effect while you live, eliminating the risk that a new owner of the policy could decide to cash it in.


She decides to create a life insurance trust with her sister as trustee. She transfers ownership of the life insurance policy to her sister as trustee. After Marcie’s death, her sister will handle the money for the children under the terms of the trust document.

If you don’t want the proceeds from your life insurance policy to be subject to estate taxes, you must comply with the following strict requirements:

Life insurance trusts raise complex tax issues ad other tricky matters. If you want to explore using a life insurance trust, you’ll need to see a lawyer.

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  • Tax Consequences Of Surrendering Your Life Insurance Policy

    If you decided to surrender your life insurance policy or were unable to get a life insurance settlement, the policyâs cash value would determine whether you had to pay any taxes. You wouldnât owe any taxes if the life insurance policyâs cash surrender value was less than the amount you had already paid in premiums. However, if the cash surrender value was greater than the amount paid in premiums, the difference would be taxable as income.

    Since term life insurance policies donât have a cash value, there would be no taxes associated with surrendering the policy. However, you wouldnât be receiving any money from the insurer either.

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    What Are The Tax Advantages Of Whole Life

    The first main tax advantage of whole life insurance is the tax-free death benefit the money you paid into the policy is distributed to your beneficiaries upon your death, tax-free . Also, if managed correctly, whole life policies can provide tax-free loans to the owner. These loans come directly out of the death benefit that would go to your beneficiaries and do not need to be paid back . These loans can provide a source of cash that can be used for a variety of reasons, such as college funding or supplemental retirement income.

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    Myth: My Beneficiaries Will Have To Pay Income Taxes On The Proceeds From My Life Insurance Policy

    Does Life Insurance Get Taxed / How To Keep Your Life Insurance ...

    Your life insurance benefits are generally income-tax free and do not have to be reported on your tax return, according to the Internal Revenue Service . That means if you pass away, your beneficiaries would not be taxed on the benefit paid out from your policy. However, any interest payments on top of the policy amount may be taxed.

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    Can I Protect My Life Insurance From Being Taxed

    You can shield your life insurance death benefit from taxation by making the beneficiary of your life insurance policy an irrevocable life insurance trust . This puts the policy and the disbursement of the death benefit under the trustâs control and excludes it from the value of your estate.

    As a policyholder, you can also transfer ownership of a life insurance policy you already own to an irrevocable trust, but you should do it while youâre in good health. If the policy hasnât been part of the ILIT for more than three years when you die, the death benefit will still be included in your estateâs valuation.

    You donât want to take risks with your estate planning, so work with a financial advisor to implement your ILIT properly.

    Still not sure if your policy could be taxed or if it’s tax-deductible? Take a look at this flowchart and see where you fall:

    When Will You Need To Pay Taxes On Life Insurance

    1. No beneficiary

    If you do not appoint a beneficiary to your life insurance policy, when you die your estate will automatically be the designated beneficiary. If your estate is the beneficiary, then your death benefit may be subject to tax. The best way to avoid this tax is by ensuring that you designate a trusted beneficiary.

    2. Loan collateral

    Another reason you may need to pay taxes on your insurance policy is if you have used your life insurance policy as collateral for a loan. This means if you die your loan provider will pay off the loan using the death benefit from your insurance policy. Your family/ beneficiary will have to pay taxes on any outstanding loan balance that exceeds what you paid into the policy.

    3. Selling your policy

    Four provinces in Canada allow you to sell your life insurance policy to another person. When you sell your policy, the buyer will receive the premiums and the death benefit. The money you get from selling your policy may be taxed. The way it is taxed will depend on the type of policy, the money you paid into it, the amount you received from selling it, and whether there was any cash value.

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    Do I Count Earned Interest And Added Value On My Life Insurance As Income

    Again, not while it remains within the policy. Any growth in the accumulated value or cash value of a permanent life insurance policy is not reportable income, says Wouters. The amounts invested after paying for the cost of pure insurance and administrative fees grow on a tax-sheltered basis. Because the accumulation of cash values in life insurance is exempt from taxation, almost all policies sold in Canada are called exempt life insurance policies.

    Premiums Under Provincial Hospitalization Medical Care Insurance And Certain Government Of Canada Plans

    How To Designate Life Insurance Beneficiaries

    You may be paying premiums or contributing to a provincial or territorial hospital or medical care insurance plan for an employee. The amount you pay is considered a taxable benefit for the employee. Report this benefit in box 14, “Employment income,” and in the “Other information,” area under code 40 at the bottom of the employee’s T4 slip. If you have to make payments to such a plan for amounts other than premiums or contributions for the employee, they are not considered a taxable benefit for the employee.

    If you are the former employer of an employee who has retired, any amount you pay as a contribution to a provincial or territorial health services insurance plan for the retired employee is a taxable benefit.

    Report this benefit under code 118, “Medical premium benefits,” in the “Other information” area at the bottom of the T4A slip.

    Any amount that the federal government pays for premiums under a hospital or medical care insurance plan for its employees and their dependants serving outside Canada is a taxable benefit. This also applies to dependants of members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Forces serving outside Canada.

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    Are Cash Value Withdrawals Taxable

    Life insurance policies fall into two main categories: term policies that pay a benefit upon death within a set period of time and permanent life policies that pay a death benefit and may accrue cash value as well. If you have a permanent life policywhole life, universal life or variable universal lifewith an available cash value or face value, you can typically withdraw at least some of the cash without incurring income tax.

    Here’s the catch: Cash withdrawals from your policy could be taxableor partially taxableif your withdrawal exceeds the amount you’ve paid in premiums. Suppose you’ve paid $10,000 in premiums over the years and, with interest and dividends, your policy now has a cash value of $14,000. If you withdraw $11,000 from the cash value of your policy, you will pay income tax on $1,000, the amount you’ve withdrawn that exceeds your total premium payments.

    Withdrawing cash from your life insurance policy can have repercussions, both to your taxes and to your policy. Study up on your options before you make this move to avoid any unwanted consequences.

    Registered Retirement Savings Plans

    Contributions you make to your employee’s RRSP and RRSP administration fees that you pay for your employee are considered to be a taxable benefit for the employee. However, this does not include an amount you withheld from the employee’s remuneration and contributed for the employee.

    If the GST/HST applies to the administration fees, include it in the value of the benefit.

    Payroll deductions

    Contributions you make to your employee’s RRSPs are generally paid in cash and are pensionable and insurable. Deduct CPP contributions and EI premiums.

    However, your contributions are considered non-cash benefits and are not insurable if your employees cannot withdraw the amounts from a group RRSP before the employees retire or cease to be employed.

    Although the benefit is taxable and has to be reported on the T4 slip, you do not have to deduct income tax at source on the contributions you make to your employee’s RRSPs if you have reasonable grounds to believe that the employee can deduct the contribution for the year. For details, see Chapter 5 of Guide T4001, Employers’ Guide Payroll Deductions and Remittances.

    Administration fees that you pay directly for an employee are considered taxable and pensionable. Deduct CPP contributions and income tax. These are considered a non-cash benefit, so they are not insurable. Do not deduct EI premiums.

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    Myth: If I Get Term Life Insurance I Cant Convert It To A Permanent Or Whole Life Insurance Policy

    It is possible to convert some term life insurance policies into a permanent life insurance policy, depending on the policy you purchased. However, it’s a good idea to speak with your agent up front, as convertible term policies typically must be converted within a specified time period. You also may encounter additional requirements with a convertible term policy, such as increasing premiums.

    What Is Whole Life Insurance

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    In simple terms, life insurance provides a payment of money to your loved ones if you pass away. While there are multiple types of life insurance, whole life is a form of permanent life insurance that comes with many features. Whole life insurance benefits you for your entire life, as long as you keep your payments up to date. It also has a cash value component that is money you can use during your lifetime.

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    When Are Life Insurance Premiums Taxable

    While life insurance payouts generally arent taxable if youre the beneficiary, its possible for some group life insurance premiums to be subject to federal income tax.

    If your employer gives you group term life insurance coverage of more than $50,000 as a fringe benefit, you may have to include the premiums for that coverage in your income, less any contributions you made toward the plan during the tax year. But if the life insurance death benefit is for less than $50,000, you generally dont have to include the premiums as income.

    Taxes And Life Insurance

    If youre like most Canadians, your employer probably provides you with a basic group life insurance policy. There are two main types of life insurance policies: term and permanent. When you receive a death benefit under either policy, its almost always considered non-taxable and doesnt need to be reported on your tax return.

    The only exception is if you decide to cash in your permanent life insurance policy before your death and you receive the cash surrender value. In that case, youll have to pay taxes based how much your investments have increased in value.

    The death benefit under life insurance policies are tax-free for beneficiaries in most cases.

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    Discounts On Merchandise And Commissions From Personal Purchases

    If you sell merchandise to your employee at a discount, the benefit they get from this is not usually considered a taxable benefit.

    However, we consider discounts to be taxable in all of the following situations:

    • you make a special arrangement with an employee or a group of employees to buy merchandise at a discount
    • you make an arrangement that allows an employee to buy merchandise for less than your cost
    • you make a reciprocal arrangement with one or more other employers so that employees of one employer can buy merchandise at a discount from another employer

    If you determine the discount is taxable or you sell merchandise to your employees below cost, the taxable benefit is the difference between the fair market value of the goods and the price the employees pay.

    Commissions that sales employees receive on merchandise they buy for personal use are not a taxable benefit. Similarly, when life insurance salespeople acquire life insurance policies, the commissions they receive are not taxable as long as they own the policies and have to make the required premium payments. This only applies where the income received is not significant and the insurance policy has no investment component or business use.


    This policy does not apply to discounts on services.

    If The Beneficiary Is An Estate

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    If the policyholder names an estate as the beneficiary in a life insurance policy, the process gets more complicated. If the death benefit pushes the estates value over $11,700,000, your beneficiaries will have to file an IRS Form 706, also named the United States Estate Tax Return. Leaving the proceeds to an estate adds to its value, which could lead to higher estate taxes for your heirs.

    The proceeds left to a beneficiary may be taxable under the decedents estate, both Federally and on the state level in some cases, as well. An estate tax may also be owed in cases where the beneficiary is not the estate.

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    Death Benefit Payout Is Delayed Or Made In Installments

    Most insurers hold funds to be paid to beneficiaries in an interest-bearing account. Therefore, if a beneficiary chooses to delay their lump-sum payout or receive their payout in installments, they may need to pay income taxes on any interest generated during the payout period. Electing to do an immediate lump-sum payment would avoid any interest accrual and result in a tax-free payout.

    One item to note here is that you are not paying taxes on the benefit, simply paying taxes on the interest income that was generated.

    Putting Life Insurance Money In A Trust

    When you put your life insurance payout in a trust it is exempt from inheritance tax because it’s separate from your estate.

    This trust is managed by trustees, who will be chosen by you. This can be a solicitor or family members. They can then distribute the money according to your wishes.

    You may also want to write your life insurance policy in trust for a child in your family, who will only be able to access the money once they reach adulthood.

    If you plan your taxes accordingly, you could even arrange for your life insurance payout to help pay the tax bill on your estate after you die. For example, if the value of your estate is above the inheritance tax threshold, your family will have to pay tax on that amount. Your life insurance payout will be exempt from tax and could be used to cover the tax bill on the estate.

    If your finances are quite complicated then it is best you speak to an independent financial adviser to help you find a solution that works for you regarding taxes and your estate.

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    Permanent Insurance And Tax

    From a tax perspective, life insurance is neither capital property nor debt instrument. Its governed by a special set of rules in the Income Tax Act and accompanying regulations.

    First, life insurance premiums, whether paid personally or by a corporation, are typically non-deductible, resulting in premiums being funded with after-tax dollars. On the other hand, life insurance death benefits are tax-free.

    Permanent insurance, which provides lifetime coverage as long as premiums are paid, initially has higher premiums than term insurance. Thats because premiums not only cover the current mortality and other costs under the policy, but also fund a reserve to help pay future premiums. This policy reserve is invested by the insurance company, and, assuming the policy qualifies as an exempt policy, the reserves earnings accumulate on a tax-deferred basis, and can be used to offset future policy premiums and mortality costs as the client grows older.

    Regulations set out rules for determining if a policy is exempt. Almost all permanent policies in Canada are exempt policies, and the insurance company is responsible for ensuring the policy complies with the rules. For example, theres an upper limit on how much can be accumulated in the policy reserve, which in turn affects the permitted maximum annual premium.

    When Is A Life Insurance Payout Not Taxable

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    Generally, life insurance benefits paid out to individual beneficiaries arent subject to federal income tax. Thats because you dont have to include life insurance payouts in your gross income or report them to the IRS.

    Lets consider an example: Youre the beneficiary on someone elses policy, such as a parent or spouse, and receive a payout from the policy when the covered person passes away. Because youre the named beneficiary, you wont have to pay federal income tax on that payout.

    If youre the person covered by the policy, have a terminal illness and are receiving accelerated death benefits , those generally arent taxable either.

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