Protection Planning Common Questions
Will I be taxed on any growth of the cash value of my life insurance? What if my policy pays dividends?
One of the advantages of cash value life insurance is that any earnings in the cash value does not incur a current tax liability. In general, any earnings in the cash value are allowed to grow on a tax-deferred basis until one of the following events occurs:
- The policy is surrendered--you cash it in
- The policy is transferred for value--you sell it or assign it, etc.
- The policy ceases to meet the IRS definition of a life insurance contract
Typically, there is no tax liability until one of these events occurs because of the substantial limitations and restrictions on receiving distributions from the cash value.
Some life insurance policies (known as participating policies) pay dividends to their policyholders. Dividends are generally not taxed as income to you. Instead, they are considered a return of your premium regardless of whether you receive them in cash, use them to purchase additional coverage, use them to reduce future premiums, or leave them invested with the insurance company. However, if your dividends exceed the total premium payments for the insurance policy, the excess dividends are considered taxable income. If you leave your dividends invested with the insurance company, the interest earned on this investment will be considered taxable income.
Life Insurance And Estate Planning Questions
- Why do I need life insurance?
- Do I need life insurance if I'm single?
- Is it less expensive to buy life insurance while I'm young?
- What is term life insurance?
- What is whole life insurance?
- What is group life insurance?
- Can I convert all or part of my term life insurance to permanent life insurance?
- Are withdrawals from a cash value life insurance policy ever tax free?
- Can an insurance company require me to submit to a medical exam before granting me a life insurance policy?
- When I die, is my beneficiary required to take a lump-sum payment of my life insurance death benefit?
- Will I be taxed on the growth of the cash value of my life insurance? What if my policy pays dividends?
- Will my beneficiaries have to pay taxes on the proceeds of my life insurance policy?