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Amounts received as workers' compensation for an occupational sickness or injury are fully exempt from tax if paid under a workers' compensation act or a statute in the nature of a workers' compensation act.

This type of income would not be included on your tax return using the TaxAct® program. If you have received an IRS Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement for this income, you can use the work around method outlined below.

To enter an adjustment to offset the W-2 income, if necessary:
  1. Click on the Federal tab. On smaller devices, click the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner, then select Federal
  2. Click Other Income to expand the category and then click Prizes, awards or other miscellaneous income
  3. On the following screen enter the description as Nontaxable Workers Comp Paid via W2 and the amount from Box 1 of Form W-2 as a negative amount
This entry will result in an adjustment on Line 21 of IRS Form 1040. When the return is printed, a supporting details sheet will print with the description and amount to explain the adjustment.

The exemption does not apply to retirement plan benefits you receive based on your age, length of service, or prior contributions to the plan, even if you retired because of an occupational sickness or injury.

If you return to work after qualifying for workers' compensation, payments you continue to receive while assigned to light duties are taxable. Report these payments as wages on Line 7 of Form 1040 or Form 1040A, or on Line 1 of Form 1040EZ.

If your disability pension is paid under a statute that provides benefits only to employees with service-connected disabilities, part of it may be workers' compensation. That part is exempt from tax. The rest of your pension, based on years of service, is taxable as pension or annuity income. If you die, the part of your survivors' benefit that is a continuation of the workers' compensation is exempt from tax.

Refer to IRS Publication 525 Taxable and Nontaxable Income for additional information.

CAUTION! If part of your workers' compensation reduces your social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits received, that part is considered social security (or equivalent railroad retirement) benefits and may be taxable. For a discussion of the taxability of these benefits, see Other Income in IRS Publication 525.


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