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Maryland Retirement Tax Friendliness

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Overview of Maryland Retirement Tax Friendliness

Maryland exempts some types of retirement income from state income taxes, including Social Security and 401(k) distributions. But it fully taxes others, such as income from an IRA. Maryland is the only state in the country with both an estate and an inheritance tax.

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You will pay of Maryland state taxes on your pre-tax income of
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Quick Guide to Retirement Income Taxes
is toward retirees.
Social Security income is taxed.
Withdrawals from retirement accounts are taxed.
Wages are taxed at normal rates, and your marginal state tax rate is %.
  • Our Tax Expert

    Jennifer Mansfield, CPA Tax

    Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.

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Maryland Retirement Taxes

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/omersukrugoksu

The state of Maryland stretches from the Atlantic coast across the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains. Its diverse landscape yields a wide variety of recreational opportunities for retirees who are so inclined, from alpine hiking to sailing.

Meanwhile, those who would rather stay off their feet can do so while enjoying some of the state’s legendary seafood offerings, such as blue crab, the state crustacean, and rockfish, the state fish.

And what about the state’s taxes? Much like seafood, while some retirees will find the state’s tax system to their liking, others won’t. That’s because the state exempts some types of retirement income, including 401(k) funds and Social Security, but fully taxes others, such as income from an IRA. Likewise, some retirees may be discouraged by the state’s inheritance and estate taxes. In fact, it is the only state in the country with both.

A financial advisor in Maryland can help you plan for retirement and other financial goals. Financial advisors can also help with investing and financial plans, including taxes, homeownership, insurance and estate planning, to make sure you are preparing for the future.

Is Maryland tax-friendly for retirees?

The answer to this questions depends largely on where your retirement income is coming from and how you are spending it. So we’ll call Maryland moderately tax-friendly for retirees.

Seniors whose primary source of income is Social Security will have a very small tax bill in Maryland, as the Free State does not tax Social Security benefits. On the other hand, retirees who rely on some combination of Social Security, retirement account income and public pension income may have a larger tax bill, especially if they have retirement income from an IRA in excess of $33,100 per year.

Lastly, seniors for whom estate planning and leaving behind a legacy for their loved ones is a high priority may find Maryland’s estate and inheritance taxes quite punitive.

Is Social Security taxable in Maryland?

Maryland exempts all Social Security retirement benefits from taxation. Taxpayers who pay federal taxes on Social Security can subtract the taxed benefits out of their taxable income on their Maryland tax return.

Are other forms of retirement income taxable in Maryland?

Income from an IRA is fully taxed. Income from public pensions and private employee retirement plans is taxed, but taxpayers age 65 and older can claim a deduction against it. The deduction is $33,100, less any Social Security benefits.

Income Tax Brackets

Single Filers
Maryland Taxable IncomeRate
$0 - $1,0002.00%
$1,000 - $2,0003.00%
$2,000 - $3,0004.00%
$3,000 - $100,0004.75%
$100,000 - $125,0005.00%
$125,000 - $150,0005.25%
$150,000 - $250,0005.50%
$250,000+5.75%
Married, Filing Jointly
Maryland Taxable IncomeRate
$0 - $1,0002.00%
$1,000 - $2,0003.00%
$2,000 - $3,0004.00%
$3,000 - $150,0004.75%
$150,000 - $175,0005.00%
$175,000 - $225,0005.25%
$225,000 - $300,0005.50%
$300,000+5.75%
Married, Filing Separately
Maryland Taxable IncomeRate
$0 - $1,0002.00%
$1,000 - $2,0003.00%
$2,000 - $3,0004.00%
$3,000 - $100,0004.75%
$100,000 - $125,0005.00%
$125,000 - $150,0005.25%
$150,000 - $250,0005.50%
$250,000+5.75%
Head of Household
Maryland Taxable IncomeRate
$0 - $1,0002.00%
$1,000 - $2,0003.00%
$2,000 - $3,0004.00%
$3,000 - $150,0004.75%
$150,000 - $175,0005.00%
$175,000 - $225,0005.25%
$225,000 - $300,0005.50%
$300,000+5.75%

How high are property taxes in Maryland?

Maryland property tax rates are close to average, although taxes paid can be very expensive because of the state’s high home values. The average effective property tax rate in the state is 1.06%.

However, many Maryland homeowners pay at least $3,515 in property taxes per year, as the state’s median home value is quite high.

What is the Maryland homestead tax credit?

The Maryland homestead tax credit is available to all Marylanders (including seniors) who own and occupy their home. It limits annual increases in assessed property value to 10%, meaning the credit is equal to any increase in excess of 10%.

For example, if your home was previously assessed at $200,000 and is reassessed at $250,000, the credit would be $30,000. The 10% limit would put the highest allowed value at $220,000, so all assessed value above that amount would be negated by the credit.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/John M. Chase

How high are sales taxes in Maryland?

The state sales tax rate in Maryland is 6%. There are no city or county sales taxes. That means the highest and lowest rate you can pay in Maryland is 6%.

What other Maryland taxes should I be concerned about?

The Maryland estate and inheritance taxes do not affect everyone, but if you're planning your estate, it's a good idea to be familiar with them. The current estate tax exemption is $5 million, a little under half of the federal exemption.

In addition to an estate tax, Maryland also collects an inheritance tax. Most direct relatives are exempt from this tax, including children and other direct descendants, spouses, parents, siblings and stepchildren. Non-relatives and distant relatives who receive an inheritance are taxed at a rate of 10%.