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Is a Car Accident Settlement Taxable Income in Michigan?

February 2, 2024 by Steven M. Gursten

Is a car accident settlement taxable income?

Is a car accident settlement taxable income in Michigan?

In Michigan, car accident settlement is not taxable income for an injured victim who receives income for pain and suffering, medical bills and most lost wages. But the payments for No-Fault attendant care services in a settlement are taxable to those providers.

What determines whether a pain and suffering settlement or a No-Fault settlement will be taxable?

The most important factors to consider when trying to determine whether a Michigan car accident settlement is taxable income are:

  • What is the nature of the claim that the settlement is resolving?
  • Who is receiving payment under the conditions of the settlement?

When an attorney meets with his or her client after a car crash it is important to discuss tax ramifications. Bottom line, people want to know if there Michigan car accident settlement is taxable income because of the money they recover for pain and suffering compensation or for the payment of any No-Fault benefits they receive from their own insurance company.

Is a car accident settlement for pain and suffering taxable income in Michigan?

Generally speaking, no a Michigan car accident settlement for pain and suffering is not taxable income. That includes any monetary compensation for a person’s injuries and for their pain and suffering. This is also true for any pain and suffering compensation recovered as a result of jury verdict.

However, there are a couple very important caveats to this general rule:

  • First, if your attorney agrees to make your settlement confidential, this may make the entire amount taxable.
  • Second, it is always important to remember that our tax laws and the Michigan No-Fault law could change. You should always talk to your injury attorney, tax adviser, and/or CPA, to make sure the law has not changed and you are in full compliance.

Is PIP taxable?

If we are talking exclusively about No-Fault PIP medical benefits (which pay for a victim’s accident-related medical expenses), then the answer is “no.” PIP is not taxable.

This is true whether the payments are made regularly as medical expenses accrue or whether they are made as part of a settlement for unpaid, overdue benefits.

Are payments for No-Fault attendant care services tax free?

In regards to a Michigan car accident settlement being taxable income, the payments that providers of No-Fault attendant care services receive from auto insurance companies must be treated as taxable by those attendant care providers (though they may not be subject to FICA or FUTA taxes).

Attendant care is taxable whether the payments are made regularly as the bills for attendant care services accrue or whether they are made as part of a larger settlement for unpaid and overdue benefits. They are also taxable whether the payment is made directly to the injured claimant or to the people providing attendant care services.

Importantly, this “Michigan car accident settlement taxable income” rule also applies to family members who provide in-home attendant care to family members to loved ones injured in car crashes.

The position that most CPAs take on the taxability of attendant care payments is that these are payments are considered income to the person providing the attendant care services and therefore taxable to that person. I do want to note here that there are attorneys and CPAs on both sides of this issue. Therefore, it’s essential that if you are an attendant care provider that you consult with a CPA or tax attorney.

Are payments for No-Fault replacement services tax free?

No. The payments that providers of No-Fault replacement services receive from auto insurance companies is considered taxable to those providers. These payments may not be subject to FICA or FUTA taxes.

This is true whether replacement services payments are made regularly as submittals for replacement services are made to the insurer, or whether they are made as part of a settlement for unpaid, overdue No-Fault benefits, or whether they are part of a trial verdict for No-Fault benefits.

Also, as with attendant care benefits, I encourage replacement service providers to consult with a CPA and/or a tax attorney before filing their taxes.

Is the wage loss portion of a Michigan car accident settlement taxable income?

No, the No-Fault wage loss benefits you receive from your auto insurance company are not taxable income under Michigan law. Because wage loss is not taxable, your wage loss benefits are reduced 15%, leaving you with wage loss payments that represent 85% of your wages. (MCL 500.3107(1)(b))

This is true whether wage loss payments are made monthly, as part of a total settlement for unpaid and overdue PIP benefits, or as part of a trial verdict for No-Fault benefits.

However, there is an important caveat here. If you are so injured from a car crash that your tort claim includes your attorney claiming “excess” wage loss benefits because you will remain disabled beyond the statutory three years of No-Fault wage loss coverage, then the proceeds from this 3rd party tort is treated as income that will be taxed. As part of a third-party tort settlement, taxes should include social security and Medicare taxes.

Finally, if you are a high-wage earner and your monthly wage loss exceeds the monthly maximum, the amount of wage loss that exceeds the monthly maximum is also taxable.

Are payments of disability benefits to a guardian tax free?

Disability benefits received from a car accident settlement by a guardian on behalf of an injured individual under a No-Fault insurance contract for personal injury or sickness are not included in the gross income and, thus, they are not treated as taxable income.

Injured in an automobile crash? Call our attorney now!

If you were injured in a motor vehicle crash in Michigan and have questions surrounding a settlement and if it is considered taxable income, call now (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. There is no cost or obligation. You can also visit our contact page or use the chat feature on our website.

Michigan Auto Law is Michigan’s largest and most successful law firm that specializes exclusively in helping people who have been injured in auto accidents.

Our secret? Our attorneys deliberately handle fewer cases than other personal injury law firms.  This allows us to focus more time and attention on our cases.

Unlike other law firms, our attorneys are never too busy to promptly return phone calls and answer questions. 

We have more than 2,000 5-Star reviews that reflect this care and attention to detail.

More importantly, this client-focused approach leads to better and faster settlements for our clients. Michigan Auto Law has recovered more million-dollar settlements and trial verdicts for motor vehicle accidents than any other lawyer or law firm in Michigan. We’ve also recovered the highest ever reported truck wreck and car wreck settlement in the state.

Call now so we can start making a real difference for you.

Is a Car Accident Settlement Taxable Income in Michigan?

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