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nebraska taxation of military retirement pay
Russ smith, tax & consulting director
Beginning with tax year 2022, Nebraska will allow an exclusion of 50% of military retirement pay from Nebraska taxable income. This change is the result of LB 153, enacted by the 2020 Nebraska Legislature. Previously, a partial exclusion was available beginning with tax year 2015, but only if an election to exclude income was timely filed.
Military retirement pay is defined as retirement benefits that are periodic payments attributable to service in the uniformed services of the U.S. for personal services performed by an individual prior to his or her retirement.
Military retirement pay does not include annuity payments to a spouse, former spouse, or child that are based on an individual’s military services; nor does it include payments received by a former spouse of a retired military member under a final decree of divorce, dissolution, annulment, or legal separation or a court–ordered, ratified or approved property settlement pursuant to a decree dividing military retirement pay.
Law in effect for tax years 2015 through 2021
For tax years 2015 through 2021, an individual may make a one-time election to exclude a portion of military retirement pay from Nebraska taxable income. The election must be made within two calendar years from the date of retirement from the military. The election options are:
- Exclude 40% of military retirement pay for seven consecutive tax years beginning with the year the election is made; OR
- Exclude 15% of military retirement pay for all tax years beginning with the year in which he or she turns sixty-seven years old.
The election is made on Form 1040N-MIL.
It is important to note that the election MUST be made within two calendar years of retirement from the military, regardless of your state of residency at the time of retirement. If you were a nonresident of Nebraska at the time of retirement, then later moved to Nebraska, you still must have made the election within two calendar years of retiring from the military. Also, the two-year election deadline is based on the date of retirement, not the date when you begin receiving military retirement pay.
Failure to timely make an election will result in the full amount of military retirement pay being included in Nebraska taxable income (to the extent included in federal adjusted gross income).
New law beginning tax year 2022
Beginning with tax year 2022, 50% of military retirement pay will be excluded from Nebraska taxable income (to the extent included in federal adjusted gross income). No formal election will be required, and you will no longer be limited by an election filed (or not filed) under the previous law.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
RUSS SMITH + TAX & CONSULTING DIRECTOR
Russ Smith is a Tax & Consulting Director at Lutz with over 20 years of state tax experience. He specializes in state income tax planning and compliance and helps clients minimize state and local taxes through the use of incentives.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- Tax Planning & Compliance
- State and Local Tax (SALT)
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Certified Public Accountant
- BSBA, University of Nebraska, Kearney, NE
- Graduate Studies, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
- Douglas County Historical Society, Board Member
- Douglas County Historical Society Foundation, Board Member
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