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Withholding on death benefit from nonqualified plan

Guest gaham

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Does anyone know whether the employer is required to withhold for federal income taxes where the employee has died and spouse is entitled to a lump sum death benefit from the employer's unfunded nonqualified deferred comp plan? Reg. Sec. 35.3405-1, Q & A 21 appears to require withholding under section 3402 but at least one IRS representative that I've talked to says there is no withholding obligation. The 1099-R instructions are not particularly helpful in my view but the representative cited to these as her authority that no withholding is required. Any input would be appreciated.

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