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Davis Brown Employment and Labor Law Blog

HR Quick Take: Employee Death and Taxes - February 12, 2020

Q: One of our employees died near the end of December, but his final paycheck won’t be issued until 2020. Does that affect the taxes?


A: If final payment is made in the year of the employee’s death, you would withhold FICA/FUTA, but not federal income tax.  If payment is made after the year of death, you should not withhold FICA/FUTA or federal income tax. In regards to end of year reporting, you should issue a W-2 for all the payments made prior to death and, if post-death payments are made, issue a Form 1099-MISC to the Estate, and report wages in Box 3 of that form

HR Quick Takes features client questions and answers from Iowa employment attorneys. If you have a question you’d like answered, email

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