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Is Life Insurance Taxable in 2017?

by Scott G on February 2, 2017 · 1 comment

Is Life Insurance Taxable

Is Life Insurance Taxable in 2017?

Generally speaking, NO.  Life insurance proceeds are income-tax free in 2017. For example,  if you have a $500,000 life insurance policy and you pass away, your beneficiaries will receive the full $500,000 and it will NOT be taxed.  This is one of the great advantages of life insurance as it is one of the few items that remain tax-free for most people.

Estate Taxes

However, if you have a large estate ($5.49 million per individual in 2017) your entire estate including the life insurance proceed is subject to the federal estate-tax which is currently at 40%.  As for the state inheritance tax, each state and county vary so it’s best to look at the list of state estate and inheritance taxes

There are ways to properly structure your estate to minimize the impact of taxes for those with a high-net-worth.  These topics will have links below this post for further reading.


Any interest earned on permanent life insurance such as whole life or universal life is subject to tax.  Also, if the beneficiary takes the life insurance proceeds in installment payments versus a lump sum payment then the interest earned is taxable. 

Is Life Insurance Taxable in 2017?

For the vast majority of people life insurance proceeds will not be taxed.  If you have a $250,000 life insurance policy and you pass away your family will receive the full $250,000, income tax free.  For those who have a high-net-worth your life insurance proceeds and estate may be subject the federal estate-tax by the IRS and a local state or inheritance tax by your state or county government.


See what rates you qualify for use the quote engine on the right.



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*This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for tax or legal advice.  Tax laws and rates constantly change, please consult with a tax or legal professional.


    denise johnson October 14, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing this information. This will surely clear things out. But I guess this kind of information is also explained by their insurance agencies, right?

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