Where Americans pay the most in state income taxes, ranked from worst to best

Where Americans pay the most in state income taxes, ranked from worst to best

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REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Seven states don't tax income at all.

  • Taxes are due by April 17 this year.
  • Most Americans should file a state income tax return in addition to a federal income tax return.
  • State income tax rates range from 0% to 13.3%, depending on what state you live in and your income.

Tax day is April 17 this year, but the IRS began accepting tax returns on January 29.

Most Americans file returns for both state income tax and federal income tax. You can do that through H&R Block or TurboTax - which both offer free tax filing for eligible taxpayers - or an accountant.

Everyone pays federal income taxes. How much you pay depends on how much you earn, also known as your tax bracket.


Although President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax bill into law at the end of December, new federal tax brackets will only affect income earned starting January 1, 2018. You'll see those changes when you file your 2018 taxes next year.

When it comes to state income tax, how much you pay varies depending on where you live. Seven US states have no state income tax - Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. New Hampshire and Tennessee don't have state income tax either, but they do tax interest and dividends at 5% and 6%, respectively.

The rest of the states either have a flat income tax - meaning everyone, regardless of how much they earn, pays the same percentage of their income to the government - or a progressive income tax, which means tax rate is determined by income.

Among the 41 states that tax income, North Dakota has the lowest maximum rate at 2.9%. California and Maine are the only two states with double-digit tax rates for the highest earners, topping out at 13.3% and 10.15% respectively.

After you file your tax return, you may get a state tax refund or a federal tax refund - or both. The IRS says the fastest way to get your tax refund is the method already used by most taxpayers: filing electronically and selecting direct deposit as the method for receiving your refund.


Below, we've created a ranking of states from the highest state income tax rate to the lowest income tax rate. For states that have a range of tax rates based on income, we used the highest rate to determine the ranking.