Does an Annuity Count as Income?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Does an Annuity Count as Income?

Yes, an annuity can count as income. Annuities are financial products that provide a stream of payments over a period of time, typically used for retirement purposes. When you receive payments from an annuity, these amounts are usually considered as income for tax purposes. However, the tax treatment depends on the type of annuity and how it was funded.

Do Annuities Count As Income

Examples of Annuity Income

  1. Immediate Annuities: If you purchase an immediate annuity, the payments you receive typically start within a year of purchase. These payments are considered income.
  2. Deferred Annuities: With a deferred annuity, you receive payments at a future date. Income is recognized when you start receiving payments.
  3. Qualified vs. Non-Qualified Annuities: The source of funding for the annuity affects tax treatment. Money from a qualified plan, like a 401(k) or IRA, will be taxed as ordinary income. For non-qualified plans, only the earnings portion of the annuity payment is taxed.
Income Annuities

Tax Treatment of Annuity Payments

Annuity TypeSource of FundsTaxable Portion
Immediate AnnuityQualified PlanEntire Payment
Immediate AnnuityNon-Qualified PlanEarnings Only
Deferred AnnuityQualified PlanEntire Payment
Deferred AnnuityNon-Qualified PlanEarnings Only
Income Annuities


Annuities do count as income, particularly for tax purposes. The tax implications of annuity payments depend on the type of annuity and how it was funded. Understanding these aspects can help in better financial planning, especially for retirement.

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Does An Annuity Count As Income

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Are non-qualified annuities taxed at the regular or capital gains tax rates?

Non-qualified annuities are generally taxed at the ordinary income tax rate, not the long-term capital gains tax rate. When you withdraw money from a non-qualified annuity, it is usually taxed as ordinary income based on your marginal tax bracket in the year of withdrawal.

Do annuities count as income if I withdraw early and pay a surrender charge?

Yes, withdrawals from annuities are still taxed as ordinary income if you withdraw early and pay a surrender charge. Any amount of money received from an annuity before the age of 59 1/2 may be taxable and subject to an additional 10 percent penalty tax. Withdrawals after age 59 1/2 are generally not subject to the 10 percent penalty tax but are still subject to ordinary income taxes. It is essential to consult a tax professional when making decisions about withdrawals and annuities to ensure you know all relevant tax implications.

According to the IRS General Rule for Pensions and Annuities, do all annuities count as income?

No, not all types of annuities count as income according to the IRS General Rule for Pensions and Annuities. Under the rule, it must meet specific criteria, such as a fixed payment schedule to be considered an annuity. Qualified annuities do not typically count as income until payments start being made. However, non-qualified annuities count as income regardless of the payment status. It is essential to consider all relevant factors before investing in an annuity and understand how the IRS will tax it. Consulting a financial advisor or tax professional can help you make the right decision for your unique situation.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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