What is a state income tax?
A state income tax is a tax on income earned in that state. It is similar to a federal income tax, but state income tax generally funds state budgets rather than the federal government.
How state income tax rates work
In general, states take one of three approaches to taxing residents and/or workers:
No tax income at all.
Flat tax. That means they tax all income, or dividends and interest only in some cases, at the same rate.
Progressive tax. That means people with higher taxable incomes pay higher state income tax rates.
If, like most people, you live and work in the same state, you probably need to file only one state return each year. But if you moved to another state during the year, lived in one state but worked in another or have, say, income-producing rental properties in multiple states, you might need to file more than one. And because the price of most tax software packages includes preparation and filing for only one state. Filing multiple state income tax returns often means paying extra.
States with no income tax
- South Dakota
- New Hampshire