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Are auto accident insurance proceeds taxable?

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Things to Remember...
  • Laws regarding taxation of insurance vary from state to state
  • In the event that an accident caused damage to your vehicle, but no bodily injury, you should not be taxed on proceeds from the insurance settlement
  • If you’re not familiar with taxation laws, you enlist the help of tax professional when you do your taxes

Depending on the specific situation auto accident insurance proceeds are taxable. Generally, anything that is considered a financial gain will be considered taxable income. We’ve got information on what makes auto insurance benefits taxable and what doesn’t!

Laws regarding taxation of insurance proceeds may vary by state. The general rule is that only financial gain is considered taxable.

Proceeds from your auto insurance company to repair your vehicle are not taxable income. This is only being used to restore your property back to its original state before the accident.

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What types of insurance proceeds are not taxable?

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Are auto accident settlements taxable? If an accident results in a court case and/or an insurance settlement, the nature of the settlement determines taxation.

The parts of the settlement that cover injury are generally not taxed. This is assuming that the amount is taken directly from the medical expenses that have been incurred as a result of injuries sustained in the car accident.

Future medical expenses may also be included in a settlement that would also not be considered taxable. Future expenses may include medication that you are required to take as a result of injuries sustained in the accident.

Settlements will often use a three-year cutoff point for future medical expenses. Any expenses that happen more than three years after the accident are not usually covered.

In the event that an accident caused damage to your vehicle, but no bodily injury, you should not be taxed on proceeds from the insurance settlement.

A check that is written to repair damages is being used to fix your vehicle and nothing else. This is not a financial gain. You’re saved from taxation of insurance proceeds in this case!

If your car is totaled in the accident, the insurance company will pay you the value of your vehicle before the accident. The appraiser will determine based on market standards how much your vehicle is worth.

If you don’t have a lien on your vehicle, the insurance company will cut you a check for this amount. Since this is being used to replace the damaged property, it is not considered a financial gain. If the proceeds are not a financial gain, they are not taxable.

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What types of insurance proceeds are taxable?

Anything that is considered a financial gain will more than likely is taxable income. If an insurance settlement includes any amount for lost wages or pain and suffering, this is considered a financial gain.

An injury sustained from the accident may keep you out of work for a certain period of time. You may be entitled to a certain amount of compensation to cover for these lost wages from your insurance settlement.

Are these lost wages taxable? Just as your regular paycheck is taxed, the compensation for lost wages will be taxed.

A settlement may include pain and suffering if long-term injuries sustained in the accident prevent you from maintaining your normal lifestyle. This income will also be considered taxable.

What if my settlement includes payment for both medical expenses and property damage?

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If you have an insurance settlement that includes amounts for lost wages or pain and suffering, it is recommended that you consult with a tax professional. The professional will be able to determine how much of you settlement is taxable based on the laws in your state.

The difficulty is that a settlement amount may include a certain amount for both medical expenses and property damage that was incurred as a result of the accident.

Also included will be the proceeds for lost wages, pain, and suffering. You will be able to sit down with your tax consultant and break down how much went towards each purpose to determine how much of the income is taxable.

It is important to keep records of all medical expenses that occur as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. This will help you during the court and/or settlement process.

Depending on your insurance policy, you should be entitled to any expense that occurred as a result of an automobile accident.

The records will also help you when you are filing your taxes. Having these records on file will be useful if you are audited by the IRS.

Can I write off my auto insurance premium?

If you use your vehicle for business purposes, your auto insurance premium can be written off as a business expense. The details regarding this depend on the actual usage of the vehicle, type of business, and who is operating the vehicle.

It is best to consult a tax professional to determine what can be written off. For personal usage, auto insurance costs cannot be deducted, so unless you are well versed in tax preparation, you are far better served by hiring a tax professional as opposed to going it alone.

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