What Parts of a Settlement Can Be Taxed?

The amount you receive is not treated differently if it is through a settlement or jury trial for tax purposes. Here’s what is taxed and not taxed:

Medical expenses.

Reimbursement for medical expenses is not taxable unless you took a deduction for out-of-pocket expenses on your income tax return. In that case, the reimbursement you receive is taxed.

Lost wages.

You will owe taxes on the lost wages portion of your settlement because it reimburses you for work income you did not receive while you were recovering from your injuries.

Property damages.

Compensation for your vehicle or other property repair or replacement costs is not taxable.

Pain and suffering.

Taxing pain and suffering damages is complex. If your pain and suffering is due to a physical injury, it is generally not taxable. However, if you are receiving it to compensate you for emotional distress, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder, this would not be considered a physical injury. You would owe taxes on this portion of your settlement.

Punitive damages.

You would owe taxes on any punitive damage award.


Christopher L. Russo
Helping Rhode Island personal injury victims for nearly three decades to get the compensation they deserve.