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  • Writer's pictureJohn A. White

Which States Do and Do Not Tax Social Security Benefits ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

When planning for retirement, one crucial aspect is how your income, including Social Security benefits, will be taxed. While Social Security benefits are subject to federal income tax, the taxation of these benefits at the state level varies. This comprehensive guide will explore which states do and do not tax Social Security benefits, providing valuable information to make informed decisions about your retirement income.


States That Do Not Tax Social Security Benefits


1. Alabama

Alabama is one of the states that do not tax Social Security benefits. Retirees can enjoy their total Social Security income without state income tax implications.


2. Alaska

Similarly, Alaska does not impose any state income tax, making it an attractive state for retirees who want to maximize their Social Security benefits.


3. Arizona

Arizona retirees can also sigh a sigh of relief as the state does not tax Social Security benefits. This means that retirees can keep more of their hard-earned income.


4. Arkansas

Arkansas is another state that does not tax Social Security benefits. Retirees can enjoy their retirement income without the burden of state income taxes.


5. California

Retirees in California can rest assured that their Social Security benefits are not subject to state income tax. This can provide a significant financial advantage for retirees in the Golden State.


6. Delaware

Delaware is known for its favorable tax policies extending to Social Security benefits. Retirees can enjoy their benefits without any state income tax implications.


7. Florida

Florida is a popular destination for retirees, not only for its warm weather but also for its favorable tax policies. Social Security benefits are not subject to state income tax in the Sunshine State.


8. Georgia

In Georgia, retirees can keep their full Social Security benefits as the state does not tax them. This can provide a welcome boost to retirement income.


9. Hawaii

Retirees dreaming of a tropical paradise can find it in Hawaii, and they can also find tax relief for their Social Security benefits. Hawaii does not tax these benefits, allowing retirees to enjoy their retirement income to the fullest.


10. Idaho

Idaho is another state that does not tax Social Security benefits. Retirees can take advantage of the state's natural beauty and tax-friendly policies.


11. Illinois

Retirees in Illinois can breathe a sigh of relief as the state does not tax Social Security benefits. This can help retirees stretch their retirement income further.


12. Indiana

Indiana is known for its low tax burden, which extends to Social Security benefits. Retirees in Indiana can enjoy their benefits without any state income tax implications.


13. Iowa

Iowa is another state that does not tax Social Security benefits. Retirees can enjoy their retirement income without any state income tax obligations.


14. Kentucky

In Kentucky, retirees can keep their full Social Security benefits as the state does not tax them. This can provide a significant financial advantage for retirees in the Bluegrass State.


15. Louisiana

Louisiana is known for its unique culture and vibrant music scene, but it is also a retiree-friendly state regarding taxes. Social Security benefits are not subject to state income tax in Louisiana.


16. Maine

Retirees in Maine can rest assured that their Social Security benefits are not subject to state income tax. This can provide a significant financial advantage for retirees in the Pine Tree State.


17. Maryland

Maryland exempts Social Security benefits from state income tax. Retirees can enjoy their benefits without worrying about additional tax liabilities.


18. Massachusetts

Massachusetts is another state that does not tax Social Security benefits. Retirees can keep their full benefits to support their retirement lifestyle.


19. Michigan

In Michigan, retirees can enjoy their Social Security benefits without any state income tax implications. This can help retirees make the most of their retirement income.


20. Mississippi

Mississippi is known for its Southern hospitality, extending to its tax policies. Social Security benefits are not subject to state income tax in Mississippi.


21. Nevada

Retirees in Nevada can enjoy their retirement income without any state income tax on their Social Security benefits. This can provide a significant financial advantage for retirees in the Silver State.


22. New Hampshire

New Hampshire does not impose any state income tax on Social Security benefits. This makes it an attractive destination for retirees looking to minimize their tax burden.


23. New Jersey

New Jersey is known for its high cost of living, but retirees can find some relief regarding taxes on Social Security benefits. The state exempts these benefits from state income tax.


24. New York

In New York, retirees can keep their full Social Security benefits as the state does not tax them. This can provide a significant financial advantage for retirees in the Empire State.


25. North Carolina

North Carolina is another state that does not tax Social Security benefits. Retirees can enjoy their retirement income without any state income tax obligations.


26. North Dakota

Retirees in North Dakota can rest assured that their Social Security benefits are not subject to state income tax. This can provide a significant financial advantage for retirees in the Peace Garden State.


27. Ohio

Ohio is known for its Midwestern charm and affordability, which extends to its tax policies. Social Security benefits are not subject to state income tax in Ohio.


28. Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, retirees can enjoy their Social Security benefits without any state income tax implications. This can help retirees stretch their retirement income further.


29. Oregon

Oregon is another state that does not tax Social Security benefits. Retirees can keep their full benefits to support their retirement lifestyle.


30. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania exempts Social Security benefits from state income tax. Retirees can enjoy their benefits without worrying about additional tax liabilities.


31. South Carolina

Retirees in South Carolina can rest assured that their Social Security benefits are not subject to state income tax. This can provide a significant financial advantage for retirees in the Palmetto State.


32. South Dakota

South Dakota is known for its low tax burden, and this includes Social Security benefits. Retirees in South Dakota can enjoy their benefits without any state income tax obligations.


33. Tennessee

Tennessee is another state that does not tax Social Security benefits. Retirees can keep their full benefits to support their retirement lifestyle.


34. Texas

In Texas, retirees can enjoy their Social Security benefits without any state income tax implications. This can help retirees stretch their retirement income further.


35. Virginia

Virginia exempts Social Security benefits from state income tax. Retirees can enjoy their benefits without worrying about additional tax liabilities.


36. Washington

Washington is another state that does not tax Social Security benefits. Retirees can keep their full benefits to support their retirement lifestyle.


37. Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, retirees can enjoy their Social Security benefits without any state income tax implications. This can help retirees stretch their retirement income further.


38. Wyoming

Wyoming is known for its low tax burden, and this includes Social Security benefits. Retirees in Wyoming can enjoy their benefits without any state income tax obligations.


States That Tax Social Security Benefits

While most states do not tax Social Security benefits, some do impose taxes on these benefits. Understanding the tax implications if you reside in one of these states is important.


1. Colorado

Colorado taxes Social Security benefits, but there are exemptions for those who are 65 years old and older. These individuals can deduct their Social Security income from their taxable income, reducing their overall tax burden.


2. Connecticut

Connecticut taxes Social Security benefits, but income thresholds and deductions are in place. Retirees with lower incomes may not be subject to state taxes on their benefits, and those with higher incomes may qualify for partial exemptions.


3. Kansas

Kansas taxes Social Security benefits, but the tax rate and income thresholds vary. Retirees with adjusted gross incomes (AGIs) of $75,000 or less are exempt from paying state taxes on their benefits.


4. Minnesota

Minnesota uses the same income thresholds as the federal government to determine the taxation of Social Security benefits. However, the state offers a Social Security Subtraction that allows retirees to deduct a portion of their federally taxable benefits.


5. Missouri

Missouri taxes Social Security benefits, but there are income thresholds in place. Retirees with lower incomes may be able to fully deduct their benefits, while those in higher income brackets may qualify for partial deductions.


6. Montana

Montana taxes Social Security benefits, but the tax rate and income thresholds vary. Retirees with AGIs below certain thresholds are exempt from state taxes on their benefits.


7. Nebraska

Nebraska is gradually reducing the tax on Social Security benefits, with plans to eliminate it by 2030. Retirees with lower incomes are exempt from state taxes on their benefits.


8. New Mexico

New Mexico taxes Social Security benefits, but income thresholds and deductions are in place. Retirees with lower incomes may deduct some of their benefits from their taxable income.


9. Rhode Island

Rhode Island taxes Social Security benefits, but the tax rate and income thresholds vary. Retirees with lower incomes may be able to fully or partially exempt their benefits from state taxes.


10. Utah

Utah taxes Social Security benefits, but the tax rate and income thresholds vary. Retirees with lower incomes may be able to fully or partially exempt their benefits from state taxes.


11. Vermont

Vermont taxes Social Security benefits, but the tax rate and income thresholds vary. Retirees with lower incomes may be able to fully or partially exempt their benefits from state taxes.


12. West Virginia

West Virginia taxes Social Security benefits, but the state has started phasing out the tax. Starting in 2022, Social Security benefits are no longer subject to state income tax in West Virginia.


Federal Taxation of Social Security Benefits

While many states do not tax Social Security benefits, it's important to note that the federal government does impose taxes on these benefits for some individuals. Up to 85% of Social Security benefits may be subject to federal income tax, depending on your income level.

The taxation thresholds for federal taxes on Social Security benefits are as follows:

  • Single individuals with a combined income of between $25,000 and $34,000 may have up to 50% of their benefits taxed.

  • Married individuals filing jointly with a combined income of between $32,000 and $44,000 may have up to 50% of their benefits taxed.

  • Single individuals with a combined income exceeding $34,000 may have up to 85% of their benefits taxed.

  • Married individuals filing jointly with a combined income exceeding $44,000 may have up to 85% of their benefits taxed.

It's essential to consult with a tax professional or use tax software to determine your specific tax obligations at the federal level.


Considering the Big Picture

While the taxation of Social Security benefits is an important consideration, it's crucial to take a holistic approach when planning retirement. Taxes on retirement income can vary significantly from state to state. While some states may not tax Social Security benefits, they may have other forms of taxation, such as higher property or sales taxes.

When deciding where to retire, consider factors beyond the taxation of Social Security benefits. Consider the overall cost of living, healthcare options, quality of life, and proximity to family and friends. It's also crucial to explore other sources of retirement income, such as pensions, investments, and savings accounts, to ensure a comfortable retirement.

By understanding the taxation of Social Security benefits and considering the bigger picture, you can make informed decisions and create a solid retirement plan that aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle preferences.


Conclusion

In summary, the taxation of Social Security benefits varies from state to state. While many states do not tax these benefits, some impose taxes on them. Knowing your state's tax policies and exploring all the factors contributing to a comfortable retirement is essential. Understanding the taxation implications and considering the bigger picture allows you to make informed decisions and maximize your retirement income. Consult with a tax professional or use tax software to ensure you comply with all tax obligations and create a comprehensive retirement plan that suits your needs.


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