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Which States Don’t Tax Retirement Income?

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Updated November 29, 2023

Federal tax rules for retirement income are pretty straightforward—state rules, not so much. Depending on where you live, you could pay as much as 4.7% of your annual income in state income taxes. Or as little as 0%.

Some states tax almost all forms of retirement income, while others don’t levy any income taxes. Since most retirees have fixed incomes and follow a strict budget, you may want to consider state taxes when deciding where to live in retirement.

Below are lists of states that do not tax certain types of retirement income. Since state tax laws change frequently, it’s a good idea to check your state’s tax website for the most up-to-date information.

States with no income tax

The average American pays 2.1% of their annual income in personal income taxes to their state, though the percentage varies greatly depending on the state where you live and the type of income you earn.

In the eight states that do not have a personal income tax, your retirement income—no matter the source—will not be taxed. Those states are:

  • Alaska.
  • Florida.
  • Nevada.
  • South Dakota.
  • Tennessee.
  • Texas.
  • Washington.
  • Wyoming.

A ninth state, New Hampshire, currently taxes interest and dividend income above $2,400, but that tax will be phased out in 2023 and 2024 and repealed beginning January 1, 2025.

States that won’t tax your Social Security income

Including the eight states that don’t tax personal income—plus New Hampshire—the following 39 states do not levy an income tax on Social Security benefits:

  • Alabama.
  • Alaska.+
  • Arizona.
  • Arkansas.
  • California
  • Delaware.
  • Florida.+
  • Georgia.
  • Hawaii.
  • Idaho.
  • Illinois.
  • Indiana.
  • Iowa.++
  • Kentucky.
  • Louisiana.
  • Maine.
  • Maryland.
  • Massachusetts.
  • Mississippi.
  • Missouri.
  • Nevada.+
  • New Hampshire.
  • New Jersey.
  • New York.
  • North Carolina.
  • Ohio.
  • Oklahoma.
  • Oregon.
  • Pennsylvania.
  • Rhode Island.
  • South Carolina.
  • South Dakota.+
  • Tennessee.+
  • Texas.+
  • Vermont.
  • Virginia.
  • Washington.+
  • Wisconsin.
  • Wyoming.+
  • No state income tax

+No state income tax
++Not taxed but used to help determine filing status.

States that won’t tax your pension income

Most states tax at least a portion of your pension income, including defined benefit plans and government pensions. Seventeen states, however—including those with no income tax—do not levy any tax on pensions. Those states are:

  • Alabama.
  • Alaska.+
  • Florida.+
  • Hawaii.
  • Illinois.
  • Iowa.++
  • Mississippi.
  • Nevada.+
  • New Hampshire.
  • Pennsylvania.
  • Rhode Island.
  • South Dakota.+
  • Tennessee.+
  • Texas.+
  • Vermont.
  • Washington.+
  • Wyoming.+
  • No state income tax

+No state income tax
++Not taxed but used to help determine filing status.

States that won’t tax your TSP income

Retirement distributions from Thrift Savings Plans are not taxed in 12 states. These states include:

  • Alaska.+
  • Florida.+
  • Illinois.
  • Mississippi.
  • Nevada.+
  • New Hampshire.
  • Pennsylvania.
  • South Dakota.+
  • Tennessee.+
  • Texas.+
  • Washington.+
  • Wyoming.+
  • No state income tax

States that won’t tax your 401(k) or IRA

Twelve states do not tax distributions from your 401(k) plans or IRAs. They are:

  • Alaska.+
  • Florida.+
  • Illinois.
  • Mississippi.
  • Nevada.+
  • New Hampshire.
  • Pennsylvania.
  • South Dakota.+
  • Tennessee.+
  • Texas.+
  • Washington.+
  • Wyoming.+
  • No state income tax

States that won’t tax your pension, but do tax 401(k)s and IRAs

Three states tax income from 401(k)s and IRAs but do not tax pensions:

  • Alabama.
  • Hawaii.
  • New Hampshire.

To avoid a surprise at tax time, consider enlisting the help of Beagle Financial Services, a financial concierge specializing in finding and helping people manage old 401(k)s.

States that won’t tax your estate or inheritance

Your estate will not escape the federal “death tax,” although the amount that can be excluded is relatively generous. At the state level, however, there are no estate or inheritance taxes in the following 38 states:

  • Alaska.+
  • Arizona.
  • Arkansas.
  • California.
  • Colorado.
  • Delaware.
  • Florida.+
  • Georgia.
  • Idaho.
  • Indiana.
  • Iowa.
  • Kansas.
  • Kentucky.
  • Louisiana.
  • Maryland.
  • Missouri.
  • Montana.
  • Nebraska.
  • Nevada.+
  • New Hampshire.
  • New Jersey.
  • New Mexico.
  • New York.
  • North Carolina.
  • North Dakota.
  • Ohio.
  • Oklahoma.
  • Pennsylvania.
  • South Carolina.
  • South Dakota.+
  • Tennessee.+
  • Texas.+
  • Utah.
  • Virginia.
  • Washington.+
  • West Virginia.
  • Wisconsin.
  • Wyoming.+
  • No state income tax

States that don’t tax military retirement income (33)

When it comes to military retirement income, the following 33 states do not tax your pension:

  • Alabama.
  • Alaska.+
  • Arkansas.
  • Connecticut.
  • Florida.+
  • Hawaii.
  • Illinois.
  • Iowa.
  • Kansas.
  • Louisiana.
  • Maine.
  • Massachusetts.
  • Michigan.
  • Minnesota.
  • Mississippi.
  • Missouri.
  • Nevada.+
  • New Hampshire.
  • New Jersey.
  • New York.
  • North Dakota.
  • Ohio.
  • Pennsylvania.
  • Rhode Island.
  • South Dakota.+
  • Tennessee.+
  • Texas.+
  • Utah.
  • Vermont.
  • Washington.+
  • West Virginia.
  • Wisconsin.
  • Wyoming.+
  • No state income tax

TIME Stamp: Consider state taxes when you retire

While state income taxes are not the only consideration when choosing a retirement location, at up to 4.7% of income, they should at least be on the list. To put it in perspective, suppose you move to a state with an average 2.1% income tax, and your taxable retirement income is $100,000. That’s $2,100 in additional income tax, above and beyond federal income taxes. Put another way, if you could avoid that tax, you would have an additional $175 monthly to spend or save in a high-yield savings account.

There are other factors, including the cost of living, housing, property taxes, climate, closeness to family, and so much more. In other words, don’t base your decision purely on your state tax burden. As always, consult with a trusted financial advisor you know, or from a platform such as Empower.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which states won’t tax my 401(k), Social Security benefits, and military retirement pay?

If your retirement income stems from a 401(k), Social Security, or military retirement, three states do not tax that income: Illinois, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania.

Do you pay taxes on Social Security?

The IRS requires you to pay federal taxes on Social Security income above a certain level. For the 2023 tax year, income over $25,000 for an individual taxpayer and $34,000 for a couple filing jointly is subject to federal income taxes.

In addition, the following states also tax Social Security income: Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, and New Mexico.

Which states have no income tax?

Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire*, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming do not tax income.

*No tax on earned income, but interest and dividend income above $2,400 will be taxed until 1/1/25.

Which states have the lowest tax burden?

Alaska had the lowest average overall tax burden—measured as total individual taxes paid divided by total personal income—at 5.4%, followed by Tennessee (6.3%), New Hampshire (6.4%), Wyoming (6.6%) and Florida (6.7%). According to USAFacts, in 2020, the average American contributed 8.9% percent of their income to state taxes.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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