State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Retirees
Tool | December 2020

West Virginia State Tax Guide for Retirees

State tax rates and rules for income, sales, property, estate, and other taxes that impact retirees.

West Virginia

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The Bottom Line
Flag of West Virginia

Mixed Tax Picture

Right now, income taxes in the Mountain State can be quite high for Social Security recipients with income over a certain amount. But the tax situation in West Virginia is evolving, with the tax on Social Security income in the process of being phased out. By 2022, all Social Security benefits will be tax-free. With regard to other retirement income, there are some exemptions for government pensions and a limited general income deduction for seniors.

Sales taxes are reasonable in West Virginia. They're above average, but not by much.

Property taxes are notably low. West Virginia's median property tax rate is the ninth-lowest in the U.S. The state also offers a few property tax breaks for qualifying seniors.

Income Tax Range

Low: 3% (on up to $10,000 of taxable income)

High: 6.5% (on taxable income of $60,000 or more)

West Virginia municipalities can also impose city service fees on people working in the city.

Taxation of Social Security Benefits

In 2020, 35% of Social Security benefits taxed by the federal government are excluded from taxable income for single taxpayers with federal adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less ($100,000 or less for joint filers). In 2021, 65% will be excluded for qualifying taxpayers. After 2021, qualifying taxpayers can exclude all Social Security benefits.

Tax Breaks for Other Retirement Income

Income from federal and West Virginia state or local government retirement plans for police, sheriffs and firefighters is fully exempt. Military pensions and Railroad Retirement benefits are also fully exempt.

In addition, up to $2,000 of federally-taxed income from federal government and designated West Virginia government retirement plans is exempt.

Taxpayers age 65 and older can deduct up to $8,000 of other income (not otherwise exempt). If married, each spouse can claim the deduction.

Sales Tax

6% state levy. Municipalities can add up to 1% to that, with an average combined rate of 6.5%, according to the Tax Foundation.

Groceries: Exempt
Clothing: Taxable
Motor Vehicles: Taxable
Prescription Drugs: Exempt

Real Property Taxes

In West Virginia, the median property tax rate is $571 per $100,000 of assessed home value.

People who are 65 years of age or older (or disabled) are entitled to an exemption from property taxes on the first $20,000 of assessed value on their owner-occupied residence (e.g., if a home's assessed value is $100,000, it's taxed on the discounted value of $80,000).

If you still owe local property taxes after the application of the exemption, you may also be eligible for a senior citizen income tax credit. To qualify for the credit, you must participate in the homestead exemption program (see above), pay your property tax, and have an income less than 150% of federal poverty amount (which is partially based on the number of people in your household). The county determines the credit amount.

If your property taxes are more than 4% of your annual gross income, you could also qualify for a homestead excess property tax credit, which is equal to the amount of property tax that exceeds 4%. The credit cannot exceed $1,000. If you also qualify for the senior citizens tax credit, you must deduct that credit amount from property taxes paid when determining eligibility.

Annual Car Taxes and Fees

An annual vehicle property tax based on the car's value is imposed.

Estate and Inheritance Taxes

No estate or inheritance tax.

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