Personal Finance

Here are the best and worst states for taxes

Key Points
  • State of residence can impact what you pay overall in taxes, especially for retirees.
  • Some states don't tax Social Security, while others impose no tax on retirement income from 401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts and pensions.
Getty Images | Andersen Ross

With federal income tax rates for all taxpayers down as of this year, you might be looking forward to a lower tax bill for 2019.

Of course, what you pay to Uncle Sam is only one piece of your tax picture. Ever wonder how your state tax burden fares in comparison to what others pay?

While everyone is generally subject to the same federal tax laws regardless of where they live, there's broad variation in how states tax their residents and to what degree. Some have no income tax at all, while others treat certain types of income differently. For instance, some don't tax Social Security income.

The best and worst

The 10 most tax-friendly states The 10 least tax-friendly states
South DakotaNew York
North DakotaVermont
MississippiNew Jersey

Sales taxes, property taxes and other levies such as vehicle taxes also vary from state to state, as well as taxes on things like gas or cigarettes.

For retirees, state of residence can make a big difference when it comes to how much of their income goes to taxes. In addition to some states not taxing Social Security, others don't tax income from retirement accounts such as 401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts and pensions.

Still others extend specific breaks to people age 65 or older. Estate taxes also vary from state to state. And, of course, some states offer very little tax relief for retirees.

The chart below shows how each state ranks. For details on each state, visit the full Kiplinger map.

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