Overview of Texas Retirement Tax Friendliness
There is no state income tax in Texas, which means Social Security retirement benefits and all other types of retirement income are tax-free. Texas has some of the highest sales taxes and property taxes of any U.S. state, though.
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- 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.
Texas Retirement Taxes
Thinking about a retirement in the Lone Star State? Texas is a great place to retire, and its sheer size provides retirees with a wide selection when deciding where to settle down. There are big cities like Dallas, charming college towns like College Station, seaside beach towns like Galveston and the one-of-a-kind state capital, Austin.
The low tax rates in Texas are another reason to retire in the Lone Star State. There is no state income tax in Texas, which means Social Security retirement benefits and all other types of retirement income are tax-free. That can mean thousands of dollars a year in tax savings as compared with other states.
It isn’t all roses when it comes to taxes in Texas, however. As described in further detail below, Texas has some of the highest sales taxes and property taxes in the U.S.
A financial advisor in Texas 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 Texas tax-friendly for retirees?
Texas is a tax-friendly state, as it does not have an income tax. As a result, Social Security retirement benefits, pension income, retirement account income and all other forms of retirement income are not taxed at the state level in Texas.
The Lone Star State’s friendly retirement income tax laws, along with its low cost of living, can compensate for other taxes that may put a dent in a senior’s budget. Sales taxes in Texas are over 8% on average. The average effective property tax rate is 1.69%, which is seventh-highest in the U.S.
Is Social Security taxable in Texas?
Social Security benefits are not taxed by the state of Texas. If you have other income in addition to Social Security, however, it may still be subject to federal income taxes.
Are other forms of retirement income taxable in Texas?
Whether you have income from a 401(k), pension or IRA, Texas will not tax your retirement income. Likewise, if you plan on working part-time during retirement, Texas will not take your work income. Texas is an especially good location for those planning on a “worktirement,” as it has a relatively low unemployment rate.
How high are property taxes in Texas?
The average effective property tax rate in Texas is 1.69%. This is the seventh-highest rate in the U.S. That means a typical homeowner in Texas can expect to spend about $1,690 in annual property taxes for every $100,000 in home value.
Despite these high property taxes, housing costs in Texas are below average. The median home value is just $200,400. Seniors in Texas also benefit from a number of property tax relief programs.
What is the Texas age 65 or older exemption?
All Texas homeowners who use their property as their principal residence can claim the Texas homestead exemption. This exempts at least $25,000 of the property’s appraised value from taxation. Seniors age 65 and older can claim an additional exemption of $10,000.
How high are sales taxes in Texas?
The state sales tax rate in Texas is 6.25% and local rates can be as high as 2%. The average rate Texans can expect to face is about 8.2%, good for the 14th-highest mark nationwide.
While those high rates will certainly affect the budgets of retirees, there are several helpful exemptions. Groceries are not subject to sales tax in Texas, and neither are prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicine.
What other Texas taxes should I be concerned about?
Texas does not have an estate tax or inheritance tax. The only other taxes that may affect your retirement budget are sin taxes. Texas has a number of sin taxes, including an 8.25% tax on alcoholic beverages and a tobacco tax of $1.41 per pack of cigarettes.