Guide to State Income Tax Rates

ByNathan Paulus
Edited byRae Osborn

Updated: October 23, 2023

ByNathan Paulus
Edited byRae Osborn

Updated: October 23, 2023

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State income tax rates vary from 0% to 13% depending on the state, the taxpayer’s income bracket and applicable deductions and exemptions. This variation stems from different tax systems implemented by states. For example, California and Hawaii have a graduated-rate tax system where higher-income taxpayers pay higher taxes. Some states, like Arizona and Colorado, use a flat income tax where taxpayers pay the same tax rate regardless of income. Some states, such as Florida and Texas, do not levy state income tax.

It’s important to note that the information presented here represents marginal tax rates, not effective ones. Tax laws and regulations are complex and subject to change. Consult a qualified tax professional for personalized advice tailored to your financial situation.

  • States employ varying tax systems, with graduated-rate taxation (progressive rates) most commonly adopted by 30 states.
  • Some states opt for a flat tax rate, meaning all taxpayers pay the same tax rate on their income.
  • California has the highest tax rate with its highest income bracket at 13%, while Hawaii has the most tax brackets at 12.
  • While South Carolina levies state income tax, it does not levy an income tax (0%) on residents who earn $0 to $3,200.
  • Some states do not tax the income of their residents. States without income tax include Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wyoming, New Hampshire and Washington.

Source: Tax Foundation

Income Tax Rates by Filing Type

"Single filer" refers to an individual taxpayer who files their tax return independently, without including a spouse or dependents. Conversely, "married filing jointly" pertains to couples who combine their incomes and file a single tax return. This method often offers tax benefits depending on the state you file in — some states are more tax-friendly than others. The US map below provides an overview of each state's marginal income tax rate for each filing type.


States Without Income Tax

A handful of states in the US do not tax income for various reasons. These states include the following:


Washington and New Hampshire do not levy personal income taxes on wages or salaries but do tax dividends and interest income (New Hampshire) and capital gains (Washington). These states often have alternative revenue sources, such as oil and mineral rights in Alaska and Texas, or tourism and entertainment industries in Nevada and Florida. While they might not charge income tax, many states may compensate with higher sales, property, or other taxes. For example, state and local sales tax in Tennessee can be as high as 9.75%, and Texas and New Hampshire have some of the highest property tax rates in the country.

States With Flat-Rate Income Tax

Several states implement a flat income tax rate, meaning that all taxpayers, regardless of their income level, pay the same percentage in state taxes. These states include:


Opting for a flat tax rate simplifies the tax code, making it easier for residents to understand and comply. It is worth noting that flat tax rate systems are an ongoing discourse. Proponents argue it can reduce administrative costs and economic distortions, while critics argue this system puts additional burden on taxpayers with modest incomes. Setting aside the debate, states with flat tax rates prioritize consistency and simplicity in their tax structures.

States With Graduated-Rate Income Tax

A graduated-rate income tax, also known as a progressive tax, is implemented by most states. This form of taxation is often seen as a way to achieve a more equitable tax structure. States with a graduated-rate income tax include:


A graduated-rate or progressive tax system taxes income at increasing rates as it exceeds set thresholds. All taxpayers pay the same initial rate, and only the income in higher brackets is taxed more as earnings rise. This results in high earners paying a larger average percentage of their income in taxes but not on all of their earnings. Supporters argue it eases the burden on lower-income individuals, while critics believe it may deter higher earnings or investments. States with this system aim for a balance between revenue and equitability.

Standard Deduction and Personal Exemptions

The standard deduction reduces the amount of income you're taxed on, ensuring that all taxpayers — even those not planning to itemize deductions and who have some income that isn't subject to income tax, can benefit. The standard deduction is a fixed dollar amount that varies based on filing status. Personal exemptions serve a similar purpose, allowing taxpayers to deduct a set amount for themselves and any dependents from their taxable income. These are primarily federal income tax deductions, but they function similarly in most states and determine your overall tax liability.


Frequently Asked Questions About State Income Tax Rates

State income tax rates and systems are complex, with variations across the U.S. Here, we address some of the most frequently asked questions to provide you with more information about the topic.

A state income tax rate is the percentage at which the state taxes an individual or corporation on their income. Rates vary widely by state and can be progressive, flat, or non-existent in some states.

As of the latest data, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming do not levy a state income tax on individuals. Washington and New Hampshire do not levy personal income taxes on wages or salaries but do tax dividends and interest income (New Hampshire) and capital gains (Washington). However, these states may have other forms of taxation, such as sales or property taxes.

A progressive tax system taxes income at increasing rates as it exceeds certain thresholds. Everyone pays the same initial rate, but only the income in higher brackets is taxed more as earnings rise. This means high earners pay a larger average percentage of their income in taxes but not on all their earnings.

The marginal tax rate refers to the tax bracket you're in, while the effective rate is the average of the rates at which you're taxed. The effective rate often ends up being lower than the marginal rate.

State income taxes become part of a state government's revenue that funds essential services such as education, health care, infrastructure and public safety. The rate and structure vary by state, depending on fiscal needs and policy decisions.

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About Nathan Paulus

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Nathan Paulus is the Head of Content Marketing at MoneyGeek, with nearly 10 years of experience researching and creating content related to personal finance and financial literacy.

Paulus has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of St. Thomas, Houston. He enjoys helping people from all walks of life build stronger financial foundations.