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AARP West Virginia Helps Pass Law to End Tax on Social Security


En español | In a major win for thousands of older West Virginians, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has signed into law an AARP-backed bill that will phase out the state tax on Social Security benefits.

The law immediately cuts the tax for all residents receiving benefits by 35 percent retroactive to Jan. 1. The tax will be lowered by 65 percent in 2025 and then eliminated in 2026. State lawmakers approved the bill in early March. Our volunteers and staff joined Justice for a bill signing ceremony last week.

Eliminating the tax has been a key issue for our members in the Mountain State — and a top priority for AARP West Virginia. Our advocacy helped to push the bill over the finish line and stave off attempts to tie the repeal of the tax to certain economic triggers.

“For far too long, West Virginia has been an outlier in its tax treatment of Social Security income,” AARP West Virginia State Director Gaylene Miller said in a statement. “Thousands of older West Virginians engaged with lawmakers through our grassroots advocacy efforts, and it made all the difference in achieving meaningful tax relief for West Virginia retirees.”

West Virginia is one of only 12 states that tax some or all of their residents’ Social Security income, although two of them, Missouri and Nebraska, are ending taxation of benefits with the 2024 tax year.

West Virginia passed a law in 2019 to phase out some of the Social Security tax, but only for those with lower incomes. For the 2023 tax year, the state taxed the Social Security benefits of residents with an adjusted gross income of $50,000 or more (or $100,000 for couples filing jointly).

The new law eliminates the tax for everyone, regardless of income, impacting an additional 50,000 households, according to the governor’s office. Justice called for the removal of the tax in this year’s State of the State address.

AARP has worked to repeal state taxes on Social Security around the country, arguing that the program was never meant to fund state governments.

Keep up with AARP’s coverage of Social Security and learn more about our advocacy work in West Virginia and in your state.

Natalie Missakian covers federal and state policy and writes AARP’s Fighting for You Every Day blog. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Haven Register and daily newspapers in Ohio. She has also written for the AARP Bulletin, the Hartford Business Journal and other publications.

Also of Interest:

7 Things to Know About Social Security and Taxes
Why Social Security COLAs Can Increase Your Taxes
3 Reasons to Claim Social Security Early (and 3 Reasons to Wait Until 70)

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