Skip to Content
Parents camping with their two children symbolizing that they have a lot of financial planning to prepare for in the future
Planning your financial future

Common tax questions

Taxes can be confusing, so it's no wonder people may have lots of questions. These answers to common tax questions may help.

Taxes can impact a wide swath of your finances — from your retirement accounts to your estate planning. In addition to your personal income taxes, there are other areas where taxes come into play.

Take a look at these common tax questions and answers.

Will I still pay taxes in retirement?

Taxes don't stop when your paycheck ends. When you begin tapping into your pension, retirement accounts and Social Security, you may have to pay both state and federal taxes.

You can play a significant role in controlling the impact taxes will have on your retirement income by working with an advisor who can help you create a taxsmart strategy. A handful of financial adjustments might help you reduce your tax liabilities when it comes time to tap into your nest egg.

Is life insurance taxable?

Generally, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), named beneficiaries do not pay taxes on the proceeds from a life insurance claim. However, there are a few exceptions — such as if a death benefit is paid out in installments, which can earn interest. Any interest above the amount of the death benefit will be taxable.

When it comes to your estate planning, realize that any death benefits paid to a spouse are generally not subject to estate tax. For large estates, typically those of $11.7 million or more, life insurance proceeds may be subject to estate tax.

Will a divorce impact my taxes?

The first tax deadline after your divorce is often stressful. It's likely you've been used to filing taxes with your spouse and you might have some questions about how you should file moving forward.

Something else to keep in mind is if any agreements from your divorce impact your finances, including alimony, child support, health and life insurance, and/or assets, all of which can have additional tax implications. Plus, there are different tax rules for custodial parents and noncustodial parents.

It's a good idea to chat with a tax advisor about your particular situation and how you should approach your taxes after a divorce.

What types of retirement savings accounts offer tax deferred growth?

Accounts considered tax-deferred typically include traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) and Roth IRAs, as well as a variety of 401(k) plans, including those for people who are self-employed.

There are also many insurance-related vehicles, such as tax-deferred annuities and permanent life insurance policies that may also provide tax deferral benefits.

Do HSAs have tax implications?

A health savings account (HSA) is another savings account for your pre-tax dollars. As with a traditional IRA, your HSA contributions make your taxable income smaller. As long as you use the money for health-related expenses, you don't have to pay taxes on it.

You might want to consider creating an HSA if you have an insurance plan with a high deductible and you want to put aside money for healthcare down the road.

There are always important things to think about when it comes to taxes, especially in preparing for your retirement and estate planning. Consider working with a tax professional to find the best strategy for your long-term needs.

Do gig workers need to file a tax return?

Yes, if your net earnings from self-employment were at least $400. The IRS says that self-employed workers are considered those who are either:

Learn more about taxes and the gig economy. Have more income tax questions? Check out these income tax FAQs.



Arrows linking indicating relationship

Related Articles

Man on smartphone at desk with credit report in front of him

Credit FAQs

Learn more
Mother and young daughter wearing sunglasses and drinking tea outside

13 ways to budget and save money during the summer

Learn more
Woman in her 20s savoring a bite of delicious food and grinning.

Personal finances in your 20s

Learn more
All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective and its products and services, visit

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective or its subsidiaries.