There are three benefits to contributing to a 403(b) plan.
- The first benefit is that you do not pay income tax on allowable contributions until you begin making withdrawals from the plan, usually after you retire. Allowable contributions to a 403(b) plan are either excluded or deducted from your income. However, if your contributions are made to a Roth contribution program, this benefit does not apply. Instead, you pay income tax on the contributions to the plan but distributions from the plan (if certain requirements are met) are tax free.Note. Generally, employees must pay social security and Medicare tax on their contributions to a 403(b) plan, including those made under a salary reduction agreement. See chapter 4, Limit on Elective Deferrals, for more information.
- The second benefit is that earnings and gains on amounts in your 403(b) account are not taxed until you withdraw them. Earnings and gains on amounts in a Roth contribution program are not taxed if your withdrawals are qualified distributions. Otherwise, they are taxed when you withdraw them.
- The third benefit is that you may be eligible to take a credit for elective deferrals contributed to your 403(b) account. See chapter 10, Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (Saver's Credit).
If an amount is excluded from your income, it is not included in your total wages on your Form W-2. This means that you do not report the excluded amount on your tax return.taxmap/pubs/p571-002.htm#en_us_publink1000239617
If an amount is deducted from your income, it is included with your other wages on your Form W-2. You report this amount on your tax return, but you are allowed to subtract it when figuring the amount of income on which you must pay tax.