Comparing tax bills around USA

"Many people planning to retire use the presence or absence of a state income tax as a litmus test for a retirement destination. This is a serious miscalculation, since higher sales and property taxes can more than offset the lack of a state income tax," Wetzel added.

Currently, 26 of 41 states (and the District of Columbia) that have a broad-based personal income tax do not tax Social Security benefits. However, most states with an income tax exempt at least part of pension income from taxable income. Also, different types of pension income (private, military, federal civil service and state or local government) are often treated differently for tax purposes.

It is important to keep in mind that moving to a state with no personal income tax or sales tax may not reduce your overall tax liability if the city you select has high property taxes. The Web site can help provide you with information.

— Copley News Service