Tax implications of severance packages in Florida

Tax implications of severance packages in Florida

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Severance Agreements

When employees leave a company, particularly in the case of termination or layoffs, it is common for their employers to provide severance packages. These often include health benefits and other perks. Knowing the tax responsibilities of severance pay is essential to avoid surprises at tax time.

Tax treatment of severance pay

In Florida, severance pay is taxable income. This means it is subject to a number of the same taxes that your regular wages would be, and employers usually withhold these taxes accordingly. 

Federal income tax applies to severance payments, as they are technically income. The amount withheld depends on your total income and the withholding allowances you claim on your W-4 form. Social Security and Medicare taxes also apply. The standard rates are 6.2% for Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare.

It should be noted that high-income earners may pay an additional 0.9% Medicare tax on severance pay over $200,000 for individuals or $250,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Lump-sum payment vs. installment payments

Severance pay can come as a lump sum or in installments. Receiving a lump sum might push you into a higher tax bracket, resulting in a larger tax bill. However, it gives you immediate access to funds.

Installment payments spread the severance over several months. This method can help manage your tax liability by keeping you in a lower tax bracket. It also provides a steady income stream.

Planning for your financial future with severance pay


Understanding the tax implications of severance packages helps you manage your finances during a transition. Proper planning ensures you are ready for any tax responsibilities that come with severance pay.