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Greetings, Lee, and welcome. You wrote:

<<TMF Pixy wrote a fine article on income tax planning for retirees and how income might affect social security taxation. I have a situation where I retired in the middle of 1999. Will my earnings before retirement need to be included when I calculate whether my social security is taxable or not? Also, is money received as a beneficiary of an annuity upon the annuitant's death classified as unearned income?>>

Thank you for the kind words. As to your earnings before retirement, they will indeed be part of your preliminary AGI for the purposes of the IRS's handy-dandy Social Security taxation test. The annuity isn't unearned income for that purpose. In fact, part of it will be declarable by you as income (any gain over the decedent's purchase price). The insurance company should be sending you information on that. The declarable part of that payment must also be included in your preliminary AGI.

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