Retirement check


Q. I received a check for my retirement from American Funds, and they had taken out federal income tax, so I received the net check. The check was dated Dec. 30, 2016, but I just received this check Jan. 12, 2017. My husband and I still file taxes, and I am 69½ years old. Do I have to show the net check on our 2016 income tax returns or do I show this on our 2017 taxes?

A. Income you receive is taxable in the year in which it is “constructively received.” That means that you should claim it in the year in which you receive it.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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