SYNOPSIS: Typically, an individual is subject to income taxation by the state in which he or she lives when the income is received. Some states, however, attempt to tax nonresidents on this income on the basis that it was earned, or had its source, in the first state. Retirement income has been a key target of this type of state taxation. Under the federal “Source Tax Law,” however, retirement income meeting certain conditions will be taxable only by the recipient’s state of residence at the time of payment, regardless of its “source.”
TAKE AWAYS: The Source Tax Law generally protects current nonresidents from being taxed on retirement income by states where they previously lived while employed. It covers retirement income paid from tax-favored vehicles such as tax-qualified retirement plans and IRAs. It also protects income from nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements if the income either is paid from a certain type of plan or in substantially equal periodic payments over life or life expectancy or a period of at least ten years. Thus, properly structuring deferred compensation payouts (including compliance with Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) § 409A) may provide significant state tax savings, depending on the states involved.
MAJOR REFERENCES: 4 U.S.C. § 114..
Scroll to read the full report or click here to download a printable pdf.