Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Early retirement penalty


Hi Mr. Stencil. I have a rather complicated question. I resigned from my job at a public school district earlier this month as I have had serious issues with chronic kidney problems. Because I have no other options, I have to take an early withdrawl from my retirement account. I only made about 11,000 this year before I resigned and I filed single zero dependents.

I know my retirement will be about 15,000 (that includes a 20% federal tax). It is my understanding there is also a 10% penalty tax associated with an early withdrawl. I have read enough to know there are some exceptions to this penalty. This year I will have to pay 3500 in COBRA premiums. I also paid about 3000 in tuition.

Can you give me any insight as to where I may stand in regards to paying the penalty?

Thank you.


Thanks for your question. I recently wrote a blog article on this exact topic. This is a link to the blog.

Of the exceptions, you may qualify under the medical expenses, insurance premium, or age.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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