The Distribution of Select Federal Tax Deductions and Credits Across the States

Note: This was originally published in 2014 and was recently updated to replace 2012 data with 2015 data.

Federal tax reform proposals often include expanding, reducing, or eliminating various tax expenditures—special exclusions, deductions, credits, and other provisions that allow people or businesses to reduce their income taxes.

This interactive map highlights the state distribution of several federal tax deductions and credits.

The maps reveal wide variation across the states, indicating that changing federal tax expenditures likely would change the geographic distribution of federal tax benefits.

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Claim rate

The percentage of all tax filers in the state who claim the deduction or credit.

Per-filer average

The average deduction or credit for every tax filer in the state including those who do not claim it.

Per-claimant average

The average deduction or credit for each tax filer in the state who claims it.

All federal itemized deductions

Itemized deductions include those for state and local taxes paid, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, and certain other expenses. In 2015, tax filers claimed about $1.3 trillion in itemized deductions, resulting in roughly $194 billion in forgone federal revenue (see definition of summing tax expenditures).

United States: 29.8%


Percentage of each state’s tax filers claiming federal itemized deductions, 2015

  • 17.0%
  • 24.2%
  • 31.4%
  • 38.7%
  • 45.9%
Source: Pew analysis of IRS data

All federal itemized deductions, by state, 2015

Click on the states above to compare

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Figures in table are rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent, which may result in minor variations in how states with the same rounded values are sorted when switching between ascending and descending order.

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