Personal taxes


Be A Richer Retiree: Top 13 States That Do Not Tax Retirement Income

13 minute read

Plan Your Tax Retirement Income Wisely: Navigating State Tax Laws in the Top 13 States That Do Not Tax Retirement Distributions for Retirees



Jim and Diane Smith are retired teachers from New York. They found their ideal retirement destination in Florida. They admire the warm climate and beaches, plus the lack of state income tax. Their move allows them to stretch their retirement savings.

John, a software engineer, achieved his early retirement as well. He moved from California to Texas. The lack of state income tax there cut his tax burden. It let him retire years earlier than planned.

Mark and Sarah Johnson, after extensive research, settled on Nevada for retirement. What draws them are the lively entertainment scene and outdoor activities. They also come for the financial benefits of no state income tax.

Is your story next in line for retirement tax adjustments? Discover the path to greater financial flexibility, including how states don’t tax retirement income. Keep reading to discover how to enjoy your golden years to the fullest.

Make the most out of your retirement, learn about the top states that do not tax retirement income.

Understanding State Taxes on Retirement Income

Understanding state taxes on retirement income is vital for retirees. This affects their financial situation. Some states won't tax retirement income, including social security benefits, while others do.

For example, New Hampshire doesn't tax earned income or social security. But, this state taxes other sources like dividends and interest, unlike some states that won’t tax such types of income.

Knowing this helps retirees choose where to live wisely. Thus, minimizing taxes and maximizing their retirement savings.

Further Reading: States With Income Taxes

Types of Retirement Income Subject to Tax

The types of retirement income subject to tax can vary depending on the specific tax laws of each state. However, these are some common types of retirement income:

  1. Pensions. Payments received from employer-sponsored pension plans or government pension plans. These are taxable at the state level.
  2. Social Security Benefits. A portion of your Social Security benefits may be subject to federal and state income taxes. This depends on your total income and filing status
  3. Withdrawals from Retirement Accounts and the Consideration of States That Don’t Tax Social Security. Distributions from traditional IRAs. Also includes 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and other tax-deferred retirement accounts. These are generally taxable as income at the state level.
  4. Earnings from Investments. Income generated from investments such as dividends, interest, and capital gains.
  5. Rental Income. The income generated from rental payments if you own rental properties often faces different tax implications depending on whether states have no income tax.

Further Reading: Differences Between Taxable and Nontaxable Income

State Income Tax Rates for Retirees

StateIndividual Income TaxTaxes Social Security?Additional Notes
AlaskaNoNoNo income tax of any kind.
FloridaNoNoNo income tax of any kind.
NevadaNoNoNo income tax of any kind.
South DakotaNoNoNo income tax of any kind.
TennesseeNoNoNo income tax of any kind.
TexasNoNoNo income tax of any kind.
WashingtonNoNoNo income tax of any kind.
WyomingNoNoNo income tax of any kind.
AlabamaNoNoTaxes public sector pensions but not Social Security.
New HampshireNo (taxes interest & dividends)NoExempts interest and dividend income for all residents, regardless of age.
South CarolinaNoNoTaxes some public sector pensions but not Social Security.
TennesseeNoNoNo income tax of any kind.
UtahNoYesTaxes Social Security benefits for high earners (income above $60,000 for single filers and $120,000 for married filers).

Impact of Property Tax on Retirement Accounts

Property tax does not have a direct impact on retirement accounts. Its primary concern is real estate ownership rather than retirement income. But, the tax implications of retirement vary among states.

Some states do not tax retirement income at all. This includes military retirement pay and Social Security benefits, both of which might not be taxed if you reside in income states on any sort that don’t tax retirement income or don’t tax social security. Others, subject retirement income to personal income tax.

Further Reading: How Much You Have To Earn To File Taxes

Exploring States with No Income Tax on Retirement

Many retirees dream of exploring states with no income tax on retirement to save on their tax bill. Eight states currently do not tax social security benefits. They also do not tax other forms of retirement income. This includes military retirement pay or estate or inheritance taxes.

These retirees enjoy a lower cost of living and keep more of their money in their pocket. It's essential to consider the tax year 2023 on social security income while planning. Check if your distributions from retirement will be subject to federal income taxes or if your income is exempt in certain states.

Reviewing Pension Income Tax Policies

How can retirees better budget and manage their expenses in retirement? It's by knowing how much of their pension income will be subject to taxation. Consider how states handle taxation of retirement income. Include social security retirement benefits.

Some states tax social security income while others exempt it, highlighting the significance of understanding how states tax retirement income. In fact, there are ten states that tax social security and 13 states that don't tax retirement income. It's also worth noting that some states don't tax military retirement pay.

It's important to be aware of the state tax laws. They can change and impact your retirement income tax in the future.

Comparison of Taxation on Social Security Benefits

It's evident that state tax laws vary across the United States. This is especially when examining the taxation of Social Security retirement benefits. In the 2023 tax year, around 11 states tax Social Security income. Meanwhile, nine states don't tax it. This includes four states among the 11 states that tax social security income differently, with some choosing not to tax any retirement income.

Also, some states won't tax military retirement pay. This provides a significant benefit for retirees with military service. Beyond Social Security, states may tax other types of retirement income, but some states offer exemptions or don't tax certain retirement incomes at all, demonstrating the diversity of how states manage to tax your income. This includes pensions, retirement account withdrawals, interest, and dividend income.

The approach to taxing retirement income is crucial for retirees. This impacts them in planning a comfortable retirement. This is more true since state tax laws have great impact with their income.

Also, states consider sales and property taxes. This makes comparing retirement income taxes complex. Thus, retirees must consider the tax implications when choosing their retirement location. The state they reside in influences the taxation of their income.

Further Reading: Property Tax Exemptions

How Military Retirement Income is Treated

  1. Taxable Income. Military retirement pay is generally considered taxable income at the federal level. It is in the report on the retiree's annual income tax return (Form 1040) and subject to federal income tax.
  2. State Taxation. Military retirement pay is taxable at the federal level. But, its treatment for state tax purposes varies. Some states exempt military retirement pay from state income taxes. But, others partially exempt it or tax it in full. It's important for retirees to check the specific tax laws of their state. This is to understand how their military retirement income receives treatment.
  3. Disability Benefits. Retired military with disability benefits may lose part of their retirement pay. But, exempt from federal income tax. Disability payments received from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are generally tax-free. The retiree receives both disability and retirement pay. The disability portion may be tax-exempt.
  4. Combat Zone Tax Exclusion. Military members in combat zones may get special tax treatment. This includes excluding combat pay from taxable income.
  5. Survivor Benefits. The spouses and dependents of deceased military retirees may receive survivor benefits, which are not subject to tax in states that exempt this type of income. These benefits may also be subject to taxation. This depends on the circumstances and the type of benefits received.
  6. Social Security and Medicare Taxes. Military retirement pay is generally subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes (FICA taxes). Only, if the retiree receives Social Security benefits. Or, is otherwise subject to these taxes, especially if the type of income is not retirement or social security, which some states don’t tax.

Identifying States That Do Not Tax Inheritances

Financial planning involves understanding which states do not tax inheritances. This knowledge is important for families planning their finances, especially for estate planning. Knowing the right asset transfer without paying state inheritance taxes helps. It makes estate plans more effective.

Choosing to live in or move to a state that doesn't tax inheritances can reduce tax burdens. This decision can save a lot of money that would otherwise go to state inheritance taxes.

Those with many assets to pass on can avoid state inheritance taxes. This keeps wealth for future generations. This helps families maintain their financial stability and legacy.

People near retirement might consider moving to a state without inheritance taxes. It can be part of their retirement plan. This can make their retirement income more tax-efficient.

States without inheritance taxes might attract wealthy individuals and families. This could lead to economic benefits. This includes more investment, job opportunities, and overall growth.

Understanding inheritance tax implications is crucial for legal compliance. Ignoring state inheritance taxes could lead to surprise tax bills or legal problems. They could hit heirs and estate executors.

Is New Hampshire the best state for retirees?

Are you considering the best state as a retiree, particularly focusing on how states tax retirement income? It's crucial to weigh various factors like social security retirement benefits. Plus, consider the retirement tax policies and taxation of retirement income.

New Hampshire stands out as a favorable option for retirees. It's one of the states that don't tax retirement income. Also, it doesn't tax social security benefits or military retirement pay. It makes it an attractive choice for those seeking a comfortable retirement. This is to lessen the burden of state taxes on their income.

Compared to most other states, New Hampshire offers a favorable tax environment. It's a breeze with no state income tax, especially in states that don’t tax retirement income so location can drastically affect your finances. Plus, no taxation on retirement account withdrawals or pension income. But, it's essential to consider other aspects like sales and property taxes. Include as well as estate tax, which New Hampshire also has.

In the end, the ideal state for retirees varies based on what each person values most. This might include taxes, living expenses, and lifestyle options.

Understanding Estate and Inheritance Tax Regulations

Understanding estate and inheritance tax regulations may be complex. It is especially when considering the varying laws across different states. Some states impose taxes on social security income and social security retirement benefits. But, others are more lenient. There are states that don't tax retirement income or social security. Rather, they offer a financial advantage to retirees.

Are you in for retirement tax planning? It's important to research which states have no income tax. Or, states that won't tax certain types of income. For example, look for states that don't tax military retirement benefits. They can provide significant savings especially to veterans.

Federal Tax Implications on Retirement Distributions

You might wonder about taxes when you retire. Or, when you start taking money out of your retirement savings, like from your 401(k) or IRA. These are retirement distributions.

There are federal tax implications on these distributions. This means you might owe taxes on the money you withdraw. How much you owe can depend on factors. Some of these are your total income.

It doesn't matter if you've already paid taxes on the money you put into your retirement accounts. Understanding these implications, including how states tax retirement or social security income, can help you plan for taxes in retirement. Make the most of your savings!

Key Points To Know

In the United States, retirement taxes vary significantly from state to state. Currently, 12 states have distinct approaches when it comes to taxing retirement income. These states tax your retirement in many ways. They tax pensions and retirement account income. Additionally, some of these states tax social security retirement benefits. This taxes impacts the income of some retirees.

These states currently tax interest and dividend income. This adds another layer to how they tax retirement income. But, state tax laws change. This means the taxation of retirement income can differ over time and across places. Nine states tax social security. Eleven tax any retirement income.

It's essential for retirees to consider these factors when planning their retirement. The way states take a portion of your income can greatly impact your finances. Furthermore, some states also have an estate tax, complicating how they tax your income overall. This further complicates taxes for retirees. So, it's crucial to understand the tax laws of the states you're considering for retirement. It's key to managing your finances well.

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Tickmark, Inc. and its affiliates do not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal, tax or accounting advice or recommendations. All information prepared on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied on for legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your own legal, tax or accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. The content on this website is provided “as is;” no representations are made that the content is error-free.

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February 23, 2024


Richard Laviña, CPA

Richard Laviña, CPA


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