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Which States Tax Social Security Benefits

State Taxation Of Social Security Benefits

Bill would repeal tax on social security benefits

Most states don’t tax Social Security benefits. But the ones that do either follow the same federal provisional income rules or have special rules and income thresholds to determine what’s taxable.

These 4 states use the federal PI formula: Minnesota, North Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia. The taxable portion of Social Security for these states is the same as the federal amount.

Nine states have special rules and income thresholds. Most use the federal modified adjusted gross income formula rather than the federal PI formula for taxing Social Security income.

These states are: Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Utah.

If you live in a state that counts Social Security benefits as taxable income, you should consult your state tax department for details and a qualified tax advisor.

Are States That Tax Social Security Benefits Worse For Retirees

Including Social Security benefits in taxable income doesnt make a state a more expensive place to retire. According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, as of the third quarter of 2021, while four of the states that tax Social Security benefits have notably high cost-of-living index scores, the remaining eight fell within the two lowest-scoring groups. Kansas, in particular, had the second-lowest score in the U.S., after Mississippi.

The inverse is also true, as states that dont levy a Social Security tax arent inherently tax-friendlier places to live. When a state government doesnt garner income from one potentially taxable source, it typically makes up for it with other forms of taxation.

For instance, while Texas doesnt levy a state income tax at all , it relies heavily on taxes from a variety of other sources, including insurance taxes sin taxes on mixed beverages, tobacco products, and coin-operated machines and motor fuel taxes.

Other states that dont earn revenue from Social Security incomesuch as Arkansas, California, Louisiana, and New Yorkhave some of the highest income and/or sales tax rates in the U.S.

Living in a state that levies fewer taxes may be good for your budget, but it can limit the local governments ability to invest in social services that you or your loved ones may rely on, such as healthcare, infrastructure, and public transportation.

How Do States Tax Social Security Benefits

States that tax Social Security benefits do so according to their own rules, which can vary from state to state and differ from the federal tax code. Therefore, even if your benefits arent subject to federal taxes, they could still be subject to state income taxes or vice versa. It depends on how a state taxes income and whether it offers any tax breaks that apply to Social Security income.

For example, Connecticut offers some residents a full exemption from state income tax for benefits. These residents pay no taxes on Social Security income if one of the following situations applies: their federal filing status is single or married filing separately, and their federal adjusted gross income is less than $50,000 or their federal filing status is married filing jointly, head of household or qualifying widow/widower and their federal adjusted gross income is less than $60,000.

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How The West Taxes Social Security

Nine of the 13 states in the West don’t have income taxes on Social Security. Alaska, Nevada, Washington, and Wyoming don’t have state income taxes at all, and Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, and Oregon have special provisions exempting Social Security benefits from state taxation. That leaves Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Utah, which impose taxes on Social Security for some individuals.

States That Tax Social Security Benefits

13 States That Tax Social Security Benefits

Many Americans count on Social Security for retirement income, but the amount of tax you pay on these benefits varies depending where you live. If you’re looking to settle in a location with low taxes for retirees, take a look at this list of states that tax Social Security income. We also highlight some of the states with the lowest taxes for older adults.

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Buy An Annuity Contract

A qualified longevity annuity contract is a deferred annuity funded with an investment from a qualified retirement plan or an IRA. QLACs provide monthly payments for life and are shielded from stock market downturns. As long as the annuity complies with IRS requirements, it is exempt from the RMD rules until payouts begin after the specified annuity starting date.

QLAC income can be deferred until age 85. A spouse or someone else can be a joint annuitant, meaning that both named individuals are covered regardless of how long they live.

Keep in mind that a QLAC shouldnt be bought just to minimize taxes on Social Security benefits. Retirement annuities have advantages and disadvantages that should be weighed carefully, preferably with help from a retirement advisor.

For Years New Mexico Was One Of Just A Few States That Still Taxed Social Security Benefits New Mexico Seniors Deserve To Hold Onto Their Hard

Beginning with tax year 2022, most seniors will be exempt from paying taxes on their Social Security benefits when they file their New Mexico Personal Income Tax returns. Tax relief from the new Social Security exemption is expected to total $84.1 million in the first year. The exemption is available to single taxpayers with less than $100,000 in income, to married couples filing jointly, surviving spouses and heads of household with under $150,000 in income, and to married couples filing separately with under $75,000 in income.

Instructions on how to claim the exemption will be available beginning with the 2022 Tax Year Personal Income Tax instructions.

Do you know someone who could benefit? Please share this page. Are you considering retiring in New Mexico? Retire New Mexico can help. Learn more here:

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Dont Forget Social Security Benefits May Be Taxable

Tax Tip 2020-76, June 25, 2020

Taxpayers receiving Social Security benefits may have to pay federal income tax on a portion of those benefits.

Social Security benefits include monthly retirement, survivor and disability benefits. They don’t include supplemental security income payments, which aren’t taxable.

The portion of benefits that are taxable depends on the taxpayer’s income and filing status.

To Find Out If Their Benefits Are Taxable Taxpayers Should:

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  • Take one half of the Social Security money they collected during the year and add it to their other income.

Other income includes pensions, wages, interest, dividends and capital gains.

  • If they are single and that total comes to more than $25,000, then part of their Social Security benefits may be taxable.
  • If they are married filing jointly, they should take half of their Social Security, plus half of their spouse’s Social Security, and add that to all their combined income. If that total is more than $32,000, then part of their Social Security may be taxable.

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Only 12 States Actually Levy A Tax On Social Security Benefits

Social Security benefits are a vital source of income for many retired Americans. However, as with any income, the federal government is able to tax Social Security benefitshow much depends on the retirees income. Generally speaking, this is all that Social Security recipients in most parts of the United States will have to pay.

However, this isnt always the case. While most states dont tax Social Security, 12 states do.

Heres what to know.

States That Dont Tax Social Security

Thirty-seven states plus the District of Columbia do not tax Social Security benefits. These states include the nine that dont have any income tax at all, which are:

  • Alaska
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

Specifics vary, but all the states in this category have some type of Social Security offset based on how old you are or how much you make. Colorado, for example, allows taxpayers 55 and older to subtract some of their Social Security income, while Kansas provides a total exemption for taxpayers earning less than $75,000, regardless of filing status. In Montana, some Social Security benefits may be taxable so it advises its taxpayers to complete a worksheet to determine the taxation of their Social Security benefits.

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State Local Sales And Use Taxes

State income taxes arent the only taxes that can affect your income in retirement. State sales and local sales and use taxes can also take a bite out of your retirement finances. All states and the District of Columbia impose these taxes except Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon.

The highest state sales taxes are in California , Indiana, Mississippi, Rhode Island and Tennessee . On the flip side, the lowest state sales taxes are in Colorado , Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, New York, South Dakota and Wyoming . Local sales and use taxes, meanwhile, are assessed by cities, counties and special taxing jurisdictions. These vary widely all across the country.

When Is Social Security Income Taxable

States That Tax Social Security Benefits

To determine when Social Security income is taxable, youll first need to calculate your total income. Generally, the formula for total income for this purpose is: your adjusted gross income, including any nontaxable interest, plus half of your Social Security benefits.

If youre married and filing jointly with your spouse, your combined incomes and social security benefits are used to figure your total income.

Then youll compare your total income with the base amounts for your filing status to find out how much of your Social Security income is taxable, if any.

Youll see that you fall into one of three categories. If your total income is:

  • Below the base amount, your Social Security benefits are not taxable.
  • Between the base and maximum amount, your Social Security income is taxable up to 50%.
  • Above the maximum amount, your Social Security benefits are taxable up to 85%.

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Depending On Your Income You May Have To Pay Taxes On Social Security Benefits To The Irs And Twelve States Charge Taxes On Some Of That Income As Well

Depending on their income, beneficiaries have to pay federal taxes on a portion of income from Social Security. There are twelve states in 2021 that also tax Social Security benefits.

The states are Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia. The formula for how Social Security benefits are taxed vary from state to state.

Are All Kinds Of Social Security Income Taxable

All social security benefits are taxable in the same way. This is true whether theyre retirement, survivors, or disability benefits. Take note that Social Security benefits paid to a child under his or her Social Security number could be potentially taxable to the child, not the parent. Note: Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a non-taxable needs-based federal benefit. It is not part of Social Security benefits and does not figure into the taxable benefit formula.

Finding your taxable income is an important part of filing taxes. Learn how to calculate your taxable income with help from the experts at H& R Block.

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How Much Of Your Social Security Income Is Taxable

Social Security payments have been subject to taxation above certain income limits since 1983. No inflation adjustments have been made to those limits since then, so most people who receive Social Security benefits and have other sources of income pay some taxes on the benefits.

No taxpayer, regardless of income, has all of their Social Security benefits taxed. The top-level is 85% of the total benefit. Heres how the Internal Revenue Service calculates how much is taxable:

  • The calculation begins with your adjusted gross income from Social Security and all other sources. That may include wages, self-employed earnings, interest, dividends, required minimum distributions from qualified retirement accounts, and any other taxable income.
  • Tax-exempt interest is then added.
  • If that total exceeds the minimum taxable levels, then at least half of your Social Security benefits will be considered taxable income. You then have to take the standard deduction or itemize deductions to arrive at your net income. The amount that you owe depends on precisely where that number lands in the federal income tax tables.

Combined Income = your adjusted gross income + nontaxable interest + half of your Social Security benefits

Will Your State Be Taxing Your Social Security Benefits

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An older Caucasian woman is seen holding a plank pose while participating in a co-ed, multi-ethnic, … fitness class. She is smiling and appearing to enjoy the class. Which states tax social security benefits in retirement?


Social Security is a significant part of their retirement income for many Americans. Depending on your overall household income, you may owe taxes on your Social Security benefits. Furthermore, your state of residence will determine the amount of taxes you will owe on your Social Security benefits at the state level during retirement. If it wasn’t obvious, minimizing taxes on your Social Security benefits is like getting a raise on your retirement paycheck.

If your household makes enough money, the IRS may take a cut of your Social Security benefit via federal income taxes. The tax news is a bit better for Social Security recipients at the state level. At this time, 38 states will not be taxing your Social Security. To state the obvious, that leaves 13 states, soon to be 12, that will tax your Social Security benefits at some level.

Good news, if you are lucky enough to retire to Palm Springs, California does not tax your Social … Security benefits.

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States That Won’t Tax Your Social Security Benefits

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Is Social Security Tax Federal Or State

Social Security benefits are taxed at the federal level depending on the amount and sources of your income. As per the prevailing tax laws, if your gross income is between $25,000 and $34,000, up to 50% of your total benefits may be taxed. Further, if your gross income exceeds $34,000, you can be taxed on up to 85% of your benefits.

You May Have Dreamed Of A Tax

Are Social Security benefits taxable? You can bet your bottom dollar they are at least by the federal government, which taxes up to 85% of your benefits, depending on your income. But what about state taxes on Social Security? Unfortunately, a dozen states can tack on additional taxes of their own.

States have different ways of taxing Social Security, too. It can be age-based, such as in Colorado where people under 65 may owe taxes on Social Security benefits but older people generally don’t. But other states tax Social Security benefits only if income exceeds a specified threshold amount. For example, Missouri taxes Social Security benefits only if your income tops $85,000, or $100,000 for married couples. Then there’s Utah, which includes Social Security benefits in taxable income, but allows a tax credit for a portion of the benefits subject to tax. Other states have different methods of taxing your Social Security check.

State Taxes on Social Security: For beneficiaries younger than 65, up to $20,000 of Social Security benefits can be excluded, along with other retirement income. Anything over that amount is subject to Colorado tax if it’s also taxed by the federal government.

Beginning in 2022, all federally taxed Social Security income is deductible for taxpayers 65 and over .

Sales Tax: 2.9% state levy. Localities can add as much as 8.3%, and the average combined rate is 7.77%, according to the Tax Foundation.

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Understanding Taxes On Social Security Benefits

Since 1983, Social Security payments have been subject to taxation by the federal government. How much of a persons benefits are taxed will vary, depending on their combined income , nontaxable interest, and half of their Social Security benefits) and filing status. Regardless of the result of the Internal Revenue Service calculation, the amount subject to taxes wont exceed 85% of the total benefit.

Combined Income

Income from other retirement programs also may be subject to federal income taxes. Pension payments, for example, are either fully taxable or partially taxable, depending on how much in after-tax dollars the individual invested into the contract.

Spousal Social Security benefits and Social Security disability benefits follow the same basic rules as the primary Social Security program in that the amount subject to federal income taxes is dependent on the retirees total income. Supplemental security income, however, is not taxed.

Federal Income Tax On Social Security Benefits

37 States That Don

Under current tax law, those with a adjusted gross income over $34,000 for individual filers and $44,000 for joint filers will pay tax on up to 85 percent of their benefits. Those with a combined income of less than $25,000 for single filers and $34,000 joint filers will not have a tax liability on their benefits. For those in between the two thresholds they must pay tax on 50 percent of their benefits.

Social Security beneficiaries cross the income thresholds usually when they have other substantial income, be that from work, interest, dividends on investments or other taxable income.

Some states are beginning to phase out income taxes on Social Security benefits. Heres a look at the twelve states where Social Security beneficiaries may have to pay income tax on their benefits.

Some people who get Social Security must pay federal income taxes on their benefits. For more information, check out our FAQ: .

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