What are my responsibilities as a pension recipient?
It is your responsibility to contact your pension administrator to ensure taxes are being withheld from your pension payments, whether you submit an MI W-4P or not.
If I am not a resident of Michigan but receive a Michigan pension, is my pension taxable to Michigan?
No. If you receive the MI W-4P from your pension administrator, return indicating you are not a resident of Michigan and mark box 1.
My spouse has passed away and I am receiving survivor retirement or pension benefits. What subtraction can I claim?
If the spouse who passed away could have subtracted the retirement or pension benefits while he or she were alive, then the surviving spouse may also subtract the benefits. The surviving spouse may continue to claim the subtraction even if the spouse remarries. The surviving spouse benefit subtraction only applies to distributions from the deceased spouse’s retirement or pension plan. After the death of one spouse, the retirement or pension subtraction that the surviving spouse receives as a result of his or her own employment is based on the surviving spouse’s own date of birth. The retirement or pension subtraction the surviving spouse receives as a beneficiary of the decedent’s retirement or pension plan is based on the date of birth of the decedent.
Example. George and Alice are married. George was born in 1948 and Alice was born in 1953. George and Alice both retired in 2012 and began drawing pension benefits. In 2012, they can subtract up to $40,000 of retirement benefits because they file a joint return and George was born between 1946 and 1952.
In 2013, George dies. Alice is the beneficiary on his retirement account. After his death, Alice receives monthly survivor benefits from George’s plan as well as monthly benefits from her plan. Since George died in 2013, they can still file a joint return and subtract up to $40,000 retirement benefits because George was born between 1946 and 1952.
In 2014, Alice continues to receive benefits from both plans. Alice can subtract up to $20,000 of benefits she received from George’s plan because she is single and the benefits would qualify for the subtraction if George was still alive. She cannot subtract any benefits she receives from her own plan because she was born after 1952. If the survivor benefits from George’s plan terminate in a later year, Alice would not be able to claim any subtraction.
My spouse was 67 when he passed away. I am receiving income from interest, dividends and capital gains. I am not yet 67 and I have not remarried, can I deduct the income from interest, dividends and capital gains?
Yes, if the spouse who passed away was 67 or older in 2012 then the unremarried surviving spouse is also eligible to deduct the income from interest, dividends and capital gains. However, unlike retirement and pension benefits, the surviving spouse may not claim the deduction after remarriage.
Example. Tom and Mary are married. Tom was born in 1945 and Mary was born in 1947. They farmed their entire lives, and in 2010, they decided to retire. They sold their farm for $2M and lived off their savings.
In 2012, Tom died. Mary filed a joint return and reported $50,000 of income from interest, dividends, and capital gains. They can claim a deduction of $20,115, the maximum subtraction allowed on a joint return for the senior citizen’s interest, dividend, and capital gain deduction.
In 2013, Mary files a single return. She can claim a subtraction of $10,058 (as adjusted for inflation) for the interest, dividend, and capital gain deduction because she is the unremarried surviving spouse of a senior citizen born before 1946, and she files single.
If Mary remarries in 2014 and files a joint return with her new husband, she no longer qualifies as a senior citizen for purposes of the senior citizen interest, dividend, and capital gain subtraction because she is remarried and was not born before 1946.
If I file a joint return and my older spouse passes away, will I still benefit from his/her age bracket?
No, once you begin filing a single return, the pension subtraction will depend on your date of birth. Follow the
guidelines for your age bracket
If I made post-tax contributions to my pension, will the money be taxed again?
No, as long as the contributions are excluded from your Federal Adjusted Gross Income. These contributions are usually reported on a separate line of your 1099-R.
When should I complete the MI W-4P?
Complete form MI W-4P and give it to the administrator of your pension or annuity payments as soon as possible. The new tax changes take effect January 1, 2012.
Can I change my MI W-4P if I have already submitted it to my pension administrator?
Yes, you may change your elections on the MI W-4P at any time by submitting and updated MI W-4P to your pension administrator.
Is every pension administrator required to withhold Michigan tax?
Only companies over whom Michigan has taxing jurisdiction are required to withhold Michigan tax from your pension and/or annuity payments.
How do I know if my pension administrator falls under Michigan jurisdiction?
Contact your pension administrator.
What if my pension administrator does not fall under Michigan jurisdiction?
If your pension administrator does not fall under Michigan jurisdiction, you may request to have tax withheld, but the company is not required to do so. If no taxes are withheld from your payments, it is likely you will be required to make estimated payments in place of the withholding. For more information on estimated payments, see MI 1040ES.
If I am in the age bracket of 1946-1952, will my pension administrator know that the first $20,000 or $40,000 of my pension is not taxable?
The only way your pension administrator will know not to withhold on the first $20,000 or $40,000 of your pension is by receiving your completed MI W-4P. You will need to indicate your marital status and check box 3.
At what rate will my pension be taxed?
The tax rate for 2012 remains at 4.35%.
If I take an early distribution, does the new pension law apply to me?
Early distributions are taxable pension distributions subject to withholding.
What if I am married and my spouse was born before 1946 and I was born after 1946. Can I still subtract the full amount of my pension, or am I limited to the $40,000 maximum amount for joint returns?
For joint returns, the birth date of the oldest spouse is used to determine the pension subtraction, regardless of which spouse actually receives the pension. For example, if one spouse was born before 1946, the pension can be subtracted under the old rules. Similarly, if the older spouse was born in 1946 through 1952, the pension could be subtracted up to a maximum of $40,000, even if the spouse who actually receives the pension was born after 1952.
Prior to 2012, I was able to designate a specific amount to be withheld from my qualified pension plan for State Withholding Tax. The current MI W-4P requires a percentage. Will the form be changed in the future to allow a specific dollar amount for withholding?
For 2012, recipients of retirement benefits are unable to designate a specific dollar amount to be withhold from pension payments. You may designate a percentage on line 6 of the MI W-4P that is calculated to arrive at the approximate dollar amount you want withheld from your pension payments.
Since the MI W-4P is a new form, suggestions for revisions to the form are being collected for future reference. Your suggestion to include a line on the form for specific dollar withholding amounts will be taken into consideration when the form is revised next year.
I was born in 1947. Can I send the MI W-4P to my IRA administrator requesting that they do not withhold state income tax?
Any person regardless of age can opt out of pension withholding by checking box 1 on the MI W-4P. However, if $500 or more of tax is owed at the end of the year on the Michigan income tax return, penalty and interest may be due on the underpaid tax.
My marital status is one of the following: A widow(er) or Divorced. When I complete the MI W-4P, which box should I check?
I have a pension that I receive from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Will state tax withholding be taken from those pension payments.
No, the PBGC withholds federal taxes but does not withhold state taxes. A taxpayer receiving a pension from the PBGC should plan to make quarterly payments for the expected tax liability.
I am 60 years old. I retired from a company that terminated its pension plan and transferred the pension obligations to an insurance company. I am now receiving a distribution from the insurance company under a group annuity plan. Is my distribution still a “retirement or pension benefit,” or is it now a senior citizen annuity that I can’t deduct until I reach age 65?
The annuity plan distribution from the insurance company continues to be a retirement or pension benefit, so long as the annuity plan is a qualified plan under IDP 401(a). Deductions will be limited under the provisions of MCL 206.30(a).