Job Loss Severance Pay and Accumulated Vacation as Taxable Income

By | March 9, 2014

When you lose a job, are severance pay and accumulated vacation treated as taxable income?

Severance pay and unemployment compensation are taxable income when you lose a job. Payments for accumulated vacation or sick time are also treated as taxable income. This article discusses several tax aspects of losing your job and what to expect come tax time. You should ensure that enough taxes are withheld from these payments or make estimated tax payments.


Is severance pay is taxable?

Yes, severance pay is taxable in the year you receive it. Your employer will include the amount of these payments on Form W-2 and will withhold federal and state taxes. This may mean you get a refund on a portion of the severance pay that is taxable in case the employer over withheld taxes on it.


Is accumulated vacation or sick time taxable income?


The annual pay or accrued vacation or sick are calculated by the employer as part of your salary and will be included on the W-2 form. Again, taxes will be withheld from this payment and you may be able to get a refund on a certain portion.


Is unemployment income taxable?

Yes unemployment income compensation that has been paid by the state and extended benefits (up to 13 additional weeks) are taxable income. There are certain things to be aware of in regards to this income:


Job Loss Severance Pay and Accumulated Vacation as Taxable Income

  • You can choose to have 10% withheld for federal taxes by completing Form W-4V. The state will provide a 1099-G by January 31 of each year, showing the amount of taxable benefits paid in the previous year.
  • Temporary suspension of a portion of the tax on unemployment benefits. every taxpayer can eliminate up to $ 2,400 of gross income for unemployment insurance. The unemployment insurance over $ 2,400 is subject to federal income tax. People receiving unemployment benefits should check your withholding to ensure they are not holding unnecessary taxes.


Uneployment Income and Effect on Social Security

If you worked for wages, income received after retirement counts as a special payment if the last thing you did to earn the payment was completed before you stopped working. Some special payments to employees include bonuses, accumulated vacation or sick pay, severance pay, back pay, standby pay, sales commissions and retirement payments, or deferred compensation reported on a W-2 form for one year, but earned in a previous year. These amounts may be shown on your W-2 in the box labeled “Nonqualified Plan.”