Who Benefits From Trump’s Tax Plan?

Who are the Winners & Losers in Trump’s Proposed  Tax Plan

While the details are just emerging and the final plan is sure to change, the tax overhaul that Trump & the Republican party recently unveiled has clear beneficiaries; and early indications are it is NOT the “middle class”.  In fact, according to this analysis, Trump’s tax plan will see the majority of the benefits—i.e. tax cuts— to the rich; particularly the top 1% & 0.1%.

 In Indianapolis last Wednesday, Trump outlined his proposal and stated, “…the biggest winners will be the everyday American workers as jobs start pouring into our country, as companies start competing for American labor and as wages start going up at levels that you haven’t seen in many years…”.   This is your classic “trickle down economics” argument that has been made for decades; that by cutting taxes on big businesses and the wealthy, the average American worker will see the benefits work their way down to them in the form of higher wages and more jobs.  The only problem is that study after study has shown these benefits never really reach the middle class.  Staying true to theory of trickle down, Trump proposes slashing taxes dramatically for Americans who earn north of $730,000 a year.

What’s in Trump’s Tax Plan? 

Although far from finalized, the main points of the plan that affect Individual taxpayers are:

  1. Reduce the tax bracket from seven brackets to three: with tax rates of 12%, 25% and 35% percent with a possibility of adding a fourth bracket.
  2. Doubling the standard deduction from $6,000 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,000 to $24,000 for those married filing jointly.
  3. Creation of a new tax credit for non-child dependents while increasing the current child tax credit.
  4. Elimination of most itemized deductions but keeping the mortgage interest and charitable giving deductions.  Tax incentives for retirement saving and education plans will be retained; i.e SEP, Traditional, Roth IRA’s and 529 college saving plans etc.

As far as business & corporate taxes, this proposal is just as ambitious.  In President Trump words: “This will be the lowest top marginal income tax rate for small and midsize businesses in this country in more than 80 years…”.  Under this plan, businesses and corporations would see:

  1. A decrease in overall tax rate from 35% to 20%
  2. A new tax rate of 25% for “pass-through” income for businesses like sole proprietorships and partnerships which currently make up nearly 95% of all businesses which are taxed at the rate of their owners.
  3. Limitation of the deductibility of corporate interest expenses, in exchange for the option to immediately expense business investments
  4. Preserves tax credits for research and development and low-income-housing from a business standpoint.

Although the tax plan has a vast amount of changes for individuals & business on many levels, the benefits overwhelming favor the affluent and business owners.

How is the Public Reacting to the Trump Tax Plan?

Proponents of this tax plan for companies are overjoyed: “An encouraging step forward in our shared goal of a tax system that delivers higher economic growth, job creation and wages that our country desperately needs.” said Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase and the chairman of the Business Roundtable.  John Stephens, the AT&T chief financial officer, said it was “A big step toward meaningful reform that would encourage more investment and job creation in the United States.”

Opponents like Edward D. Kleinbard, a tax expert at the University of Southern California law school calls Trump’s Tax Plan “a very cynical document…The extraordinary thing about the proposal is that we know that it loses trillions of dollars in revenue, yet at the same time the only people we can identify as guaranteed winners are the most affluent.”  Even Republican Rand Paul recently came out against Trump’s tax plan calling it a “middle class tax hike”.


This analysis from the Tax Policy Center above clearly illustrates how the current tax proposal favors the wealthy; particularly  the top 1 percent and top 0.1% them.  Pay particular attention to the Share of Total Federal Tax Change.  It breaks down U.S. income earners into 5 categories—from those making the least in the lowest quintile to those making the most in the top quintile.  As you can see, the top quintile reaps a whopping 86.6% of these potential tax cuts!  The other 4 quintiles combined would only realize 13.4% of these cuts. Parsing these numbers even further for the top quintile the majority of tax cuts go to the top 1% (79.7%) and the top 0.1% (39.6%) which equate to an average tax cut of $207,060 & $1,022,120 respectively.  Most Americans don’t even come close to earning the amount of money the top 1% would gain in tax cuts. 

Time & time again, Trump has pledged on the campaign trail and as President that the middle class will see the rewards of his tax cuts and it was time for the rich to pay their fair share by closing tax loopholes amongst other things. However, it is hard to come to any other conclusion than this tax plan, if passed, would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy and not the middle class. In fact, this plan may create even more tax loopholes that would directly benefit wealthy families.

How Does Trump’s Tax Plan Affect You?

If the previous health care battles are any guide, the political fight to get these cuts enacted will be fierce and has only just begun.  This means that the ordinarily taxpayer can most likely expect tax filing delays—similar or worse than in recent years—while congress bickers…especially for taxpayers who file early.  It will be a while before we can really dig into the ultimate affects of whichever Trump’s tax proposal is ultimately passed.  One thing is for certain: In it’s current form the only real beneficiaries to this proposal are those that make nearly a $1 million or more annually.  Because of all this uncertainty and the prospect for an increase in taxes for the middle class, hiring the services of a Tax Professional this tax season may be well worth the money as they can help you navigate this complicated tax climate as well as potentially unlock benefits you might ordinarily overlook.

If you’d like more information about out how Trump’s existing or eventual tax proposal will affect you, feel free to contact us via the web or call us toll-free at (888) APRIL-15 to speak to an R&G Brenner Tax Professional.

Please feel free to comment below on Trump’s proposed tax overhaul.

Which States Are Tax-Friendliest?

Top "Tax-Friendly" States
Top “Tax-Friendly” States

If you’re willing to relocate, you can save quite a bit of money on taxes. By shopping around from state to state, you can save significant amounts on your bill for business or personal taxes. According to Entrepreneur, individuals can save 10% to 30% simply by moving. States and municipalities set widely different tax rates on personal income, gas, property and sales. Your business could enjoy major savings in a different state.

But don’t pack those boxes yet: determining which state is complicated as the states that have business-friendly tax policies are not always the most tax-friendly for individuals and vice versa. To help you decide if there is a move in your future, here is a closer look at which states are “tax-friendliest”.

The Top Tax-Friendliest States for Individuals

Tax rates in a number of states are easy on the personal budget. Florida ranks high as a tax friendly state for individuals because it charges no personal income tax. Property is taxed at just 3.45%, well below the national average. Add that to the fact that it’s warm all year round, and it makes for an attractive destination for a move.

If life in the Southwest suits your fancy, you can do well on the personal tax side. Nevada also has no income tax and the rate on property is just 3%. New Mexico does charge income tax at 1.70% to 4.9%, but property is taxed at just 1.93%. Utah is a bit higher at a 5% income tax rate, but property rates are set at 2.75%.

In the West, Wyoming has no income tax and the rate on gas is a mere $0.14 a gallon. The sales tax is 4%. Washington State has no income tax, and property is taxed at 2.91%, but the state levies a 6.5% sales tax to help fund its annual budget. If you love beautiful scenery and hate paying taxes, consider Alaska. There is no personal income tax there either, nor any sales tax. Property tax is just 4.55%.

Business Taxes

According to USA Today, three states—Wyoming, South Dakota and Nevada—are especially friendly for businesses. All three have no corporate income tax or gross receipts tax, as well as no personal income tax.

Each of the three states has set up a solid tax base that doesn’t rely on personal and general business taxes. Wyoming charges taxes on the extraction of oil, coal, gas and minerals for its tax base, which produces close to $1 billion each year for the state. South Dakota has a strong economy built on two foundations. Its had a policy of actively attracting credit card companies to set up business in the state since the 1980s. In addition, Ellsworth Air Force Base is a major employer. Nevada, of course, has its casinos, which provide 5% of its tax needs. The state also has taxes on drilling for gas and oil.

What Makes a State Tax-Friendly?

According to the study done each year by the Tax Foundation, there are a number of factors that impact how tax-friendly a state is. Even if a state has no corporate tax, it may have a gross receipts tax, which can actually increase what a company has to pay at tax time. Then too, within each state some counties are more tax-friendly than others, complicating the decision of where to move.

The fact that a state does not have a personal income tax or a sales tax helps businesses as well as individuals. That’s why Alaska is number four on the list of the top 10 business tax-friendly states as well as being one of the tax-friendliest for individuals. The fact that Alaska has a high corporate tax is balanced by the absence of a sales tax or personal income tax.

Florida, with no personal income tax, is number five on the list, even though it is ranked #14 for its corporate tax. Montana is sixth because it has no sales tax, which offsets the fact that its corporate tax rate earns it its spot at #18 on the list of business tax-friendly states. Rounding out the top 10 are New Hampshire, Indiana, Utah and Texas.

If you’re paying more than you think you should at tax time, perhaps a move to another part of the country should be considered. You and your business could save a bundle when the taxman comes around next year by simply relocating to a different, tax-friendlier state.

15 Ways To Get Audited By The IRS

15 Ways to Get Audited
15 Ways to Get Audited

While there are reports circulating that the IRS’ budget has been slashed and audits are going down, there are still many sure shot ways you can get yourself audited by the IRS.  Forbes.com list the 15 most common ways to invite an Audit by the IRS:

Be Super Wealthy

This may seem like a “duh” moment. But the IRS finally is increasing the percentage of really rich people it audits, on the reasonable theory there’s a lot more potential to uncover big dollars owed. It even has special “wealth squads” looking at all their holdings.

Hide Offshore Accounts

It’s not illegal for U.S. taxpayers to have accounts in Switzerland or Hong Kong or some Caribbean island. It’s only illegal not to declare them or their income. Ask the ex-clients (some now convicts) of Swiss banking giant UBS.

Be a Tax Protestor

Let’s be blunt. The IRS simply does not like it when you claim you owe no taxes because the income tax is illegal or only applies to weird income categories that don’t apply to you. Such wacky theories landed actor Wesley Snipes in jail.

Claim Huge Charitable Contributions

Rules require complete before-you-file documentation of your gifts to nonprofits. The IRS’ use of correspondence audits, in which it demands you mail in the documents backing various deductions, makes claims of substantial contributions a tempting target.

Omit Some Reported Income

IRS computers are very good at matching all the little pieces of paper you get reporting your income with what you put on your 1040. These papers include employer W-2s and independent contractor, brokerage and bank 1099s.

Take a Big Home-Based Business Loss Every Year

The IRS presumes that a Schedule C business losing money three years out of five is not necessarily all that legitimate. You might have to produce evidence of a profit motive.

Claim a Loss On a Hobby

By definition, a hobby is not pursued for profit. But that doesn’t stop some taxpayers from trying to write off expenses for their dog showing, comic book trading or other “business.”

Use a Sleazy Tax Preparer

The IRS’ efforts to regulate all paid tax preparers were just shot down by a federal judge. But that doesn’t stop its ongoing campaign to ferret out and shut down the sleazy ones. When the feds get onto a tax pro playing fast and loose, his or her clients become easy target

Write Off Big Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses

They’re only deductible beyond 2% of adjusted gross income. The IRS may use a by-mail audit to ask for back-up paperwork, thinking you are trying to write off ordinary work clothes, commuting costs and other not-allowed items.

Take Deductions In Round Numbers

The world is an uneven place. So if you file a tax return taking deductions ending in lots of zeros, the IRS might think you don’t have the required paper backup. You risk an audit by mail.

Make Math Errors

IRS computers are programmed to check your math. Returns with errors can invite scrutiny that might trigger more IRS requests for back-up information.

Brag A Lot

Laws require the IRS to pay minimum rewards for tips in cases that result in big collections. The neighbor overhearing your expansive claims may become a government informant.

Anger An Ex-Business Partner, Employee or Spouse.

They might blow the whistle on you too. And it’s possible they won’t do it just for the informant’s bounty.

Make Careless Mistakes

These can include not signing a return, leaving off your Social Security number or miswriting it. All are red flags.

Fail to File On Time or at All

The IRS has a special program that will generate a substitute return using W-2 and 1099 paperwork. Don’t expect it to allow your deductions.

Source: Forbes

5 Tips for Avoiding an IRS Tax Audit

Tips To Avoid An Audit
Tips To Avoid An Audit

IRS audits are feared for good reason: at best, they’re disruptive, and at worst they can cost you vast amounts of money. Though the percentage of audited returns is relatively low, every year the IRS still audits a huge number of returns. Following these tips can help you reduce the chances you’ll end up as one of their targets. 

Be Diligent With Business Deductions

This primarily pertains to the self-employed and business owners. While it may be tempting to write off your apartment as a home office or your car as a business investment, the IRS has careful formulas for determining whether or not particular expenses are deductible. For instance, only the part of your home used exclusively counts towards the home-office deduction—meaning writing off too much square footage could get you noticed. Car expenses, likewise, must be carefully calculated. If you’re thinking of writing something off,  you should do some research or contact a tax professional.

Keep Everything

No, not “everything” as in money. “Everything” here means documentation, like receipts, pay stubs, leasing agreements—really, anything that might be slightly relevant during tax time. Tax returns gets much more difficult to complete when you’re missing documents–and complications could lead to you miscalculating a deduction or forgetting to declare an income source. And, in the unfortunate event of an audit, you will need all of your documentation to verify your deductions.

Choose Your Professional Wisely

Many people, especially those with complicated tax situations, hire tax professionals to help take the headache out of tax season. But according to MSN Money, choosing the wrong tax “pro” can be disastrous.  So, when picking a tax preparer, check out their track record, customer reviews, how long they’ve been in business, their Better Business Bureau standing—just do your homework, as you would when hiring any other type of professional.  R&G Brenner currently has an A+ Rating with the BBB

Pay Quarterly Taxes (If Necessary)

If you’re self-employed, the IRS expects you to keep up with your tax obligations throughout the year. This means not only filing an annual return, but also paying quarterly taxes if a certain proportion of your income comes from self-employment. It’s especially vital for the self-employed to keep up with their taxes because they have no employer withholding income taxes or chipping in on Medicare and Social Security taxes. Some tools you can use to keep up with your quarterly taxes are Form 1040-ES, which can help you determine if you need to pay quarterly taxes, and the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, which you can then use to pay quarterly taxes. 

Electronically File

Depending on the system you use, electronic filing (e-filing) can have several advantages: less paperwork cluttering your desk, easy deduction-tracking systems, built-in calculators, and so on. But perhaps the biggest advantage is that, according to the IRS, e-filed returns have an error rate of only 1%, compared to 20% for paper returns. And if there is an error, e-filed returns can report back to the sender much more quickly, hopefully allowing them to correct the problem.  Furthermore, the IRS & states like NY require all tax returns to be e-filed unless you have a legitimate excuse for not filing electronically.  If they don’t like your excuse, they can fine you.

These tips are general, but every taxpayer’s situtation is unique. For more help, the IRS website—while sometimes complex—has resources for just about all tax situations. You can also talk to an R&G Brenner qualified tax professional to help you navigate the nuances of the tax code.

Holiday Season Tax Breaks

Last Minute Tax Breaks
Last Minute Tax Breaks

The notion of taxes can be stressful for anyone, and so can the holiday season. While reading about taxes and finances could destroy the holiday spirit for some, it is a great idea to be cognizant of the various holiday tax deductions to make the season much less stressful. Below is an overview of some common last minuet tax deductions and tax break opportunities that you can take advantage of this holiday season before you close the books on 2013

Tax Deductions for Business Gifts 

In many circumstances, it can be quite beneficial for a business to give holiday gifts to their clients, but this can often be a costly endeavor. Fortunately, you may deduct the cost of business gifts that are up to $25 per client, associate, or employee on your income tax return. However, it is important to note that “incidental expenses” (such as wrapping paper, holiday gift cards, insurance, and mailing) are not included in this $25 limit. It is also important to keep in mind that you may not double this limit by including a spouse or business partner when giving to the same recipient. 

There are Exceptions to Gift Tax

In a non-business circumstance, just about anything that you give as a gift to another person could be subject to gift tax on the giver’s end. However, it is important to know the exceptions to this. First, know that there is absolutely no gift tax when giving to a spouse, so you may be as extravagantly generous as you want. Also, keep in mind that choosing to pay someone’s tuition and medical expenses this holiday season not only provides a great gift, but also leaves you with no gift tax. Do make sure that if you choose to do this, you pay your money directly to the educational or medical institution (rather than to the recipient). 

Tax Benefits for Donating to Charities and Organizations 

Sometimes, the best holiday gift is giving money to a charity or organization that you care about. As far as legitimate charities go, you can send as much as you want. There is not only no gift tax, but it is tax deductible. On the other hand, it is very important to note that although there will not be gift tax when you donate to a political organization, this endeavor will not be tax deductible. 

Consider Donating Your Family’s Unwanted Holiday Gifts for Tax Breaks

It may seem cold, but it is the truth that we often end up receiving holiday gifts that we do not want. Instead of exchanging them for new items, you could donate them to charity; you will not only be helping those less fortunate than you, but you will also be able to claim additional tax breaks this holiday season. The IRS has a form that helps you to assess the value of what you end up donating, so that you may claim the corresponding tax deductions. Make sure that you obtain a receipt from the charity that you are donating to for your records. 

A Happy & Healthy New Year form everyone here at R&G Brenner Income Tax!

Tax Filing Season Delayed Until January 31st

IRS Accepting Returns January 31st
IRS Accepting Returns January 31st

The IRS put everyone one notice not long after the end of the latest government shutdown that the 2014 tax filing season would be delayed by “1 or 2 weeks”.   Well not surprisingly, the IRS recently released that the first date that they will be accepting 2013 tax returns for processing will be January 31st:

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced plans to open the 2014 filing season on Jan. 31…

The new opening date for individuals to file their 2013 tax returns will allow the IRS adequate time to program and test its tax processing systems. The annual process for updating IRS systems saw significant delays in October following the 16-day federal government closure.

“Our teams have been working hard throughout the fall to prepare for the upcoming tax season,” IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said. “The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems validation. It’s a complex process, and our bottom-line goal is to provide a smooth filing and refund process for the nation’s taxpayers.”

The government closure meant the IRS had to change the original opening date from Jan. 21 to Jan. 31, 2014. The 2014 date is one day later than the 2013 filing season opening, which started on Jan. 30, 2013, following January tax law changes made by Congress on Jan. 1 under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). The extensive set of ATRA tax changes affected many 2012 tax returns, which led to the late January opening.

The IRS noted that several options are available to help taxpayers prepare for the 2014 tax season and get their refunds as easily as possible. New year-end tax planning information has been added to IRS.gov this week.

In addition, many software companies are expected to begin accepting tax returns in January and hold those returns until the IRS systems open on Jan. 31. More details will be available in January.

The IRS cautioned that it will not process any tax returns before Jan. 31, so there is no advantage to filing on paper before the opening date. Taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by using e-file…with the direct deposit option.

The April 15 tax deadline is set by statute and will remain in place. However, the IRS reminds taxpayers that anyone can request an automatic six-month extension to file their tax return. The request is easily done with Form 4868, which can be filed electronically or on paper.

IRS systems, applications and databases must be updated annually to reflect tax law updates, business process changes and programming updates in time for the start of the filing season.

The October closure came during the peak period for preparing IRS systems for the 2014 filing season. Programming, testing and deployment of more than 50 IRS systems is needed to handle processing of nearly 150 million tax returns. Updating these core systems is a complex, year-round process with the majority of the work beginning in the fall of each year.

About 90 percent of IRS operations were closed during the shutdown, with some major work streams closed entirely during this period, putting the IRS nearly three weeks behind its tight timetable for being ready to start the 2014 filing season. There are additional training, programming and testing demands on IRS systems this year in order to provide additional refund fraud and identity theft detection and prevention.


The IRS is accepting 2013 Business Returns (Forms 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 720, 940, 941, 2290) for filing January 13th, 2014.

Source: IRS.gov

What Triggers An IRS Audit?

Avoid Audit Red Flags

Nothing brings on the cold sweats like an official letter from the Government; particularly the IRS. Like being pulled over by the police while driving, thoughts of everything you have ever done (or may have done) wrong begin to flood your mind. There are two different classes of IRS Audits: Correspondence Audits & Desk Audits.

A Correspondence Audit is by far the most common type of audit the IRS issues to Taxpayers. These are generally the lowest level of an audit and usually involve small amounts of money. Verification of income & expenses are done almost completely by Mail or Fax and you may never even speak to your auditor. Conversely, A Desk Audit–or Office Audit–is when the IRS directs a taxpayer to an IRS office for an in-person interview. These generally involve larger amounts of money.

Regardless of what type of Audit a taxpayer receives, thoughts of asset seizures and/or jail time are common worries. However, being locked up or having your bank account seized are very rare. Usually, the punishment is simply the difference in tax calculated in the IRS’ favor, accompanied by a late payment penalty and interest. If a taxpayer can’t pay the penalties and taxes immediately, the IRS will usually accept a payment plan; as long as payments are made there is no need to worry that bank accounts will be raided or assets liquidated. Nevertheless, the stress and burden of the taxpayer to produce the documentation if very real. If fact, the Taxpayer Advocate wrote that Correspondence audits are not necessarily less work for the taxpayer. While there is no sure fire way to eliminate your chances to being audited (the IRS & States issue many random audits a year), there are many Red Flags a taxpayer can avoid to reduce their chances of being audited:

1. Not Reporting All Of Your Income: The IRS cross checks your income sources with 1099s and W-2s. If your income has dropped, that may be a red flag. Do not under report your income, no matter how tempting. If you have some self-employed income, report it and then use every deduction or write off you can find.

2. Claiming Large Charitable Deductions: The IRS calculated what the average donation is for a person in your income bracket. So if indeed you made a large donation last year be sure to have proper documentation. A cancelled check will do if the amount is under $250. Over that amount, you will need a letter from the charity.

3Earning A Bunch Of Money: Over $100,000. You are 5 times more likely to be audited if you make the big bucks so be sure to document all of your deductions and income.

4. Taking Higher Than The Average Deductions: If the deductions on your return are disproportionately large compared to your income, the IRS audit formulas will go “tilt”. So if you have large medical deductions be sure you can prove them if need be.

5. Home Office Deduction: The IRS is always interested in this deduction, because history has shown that many people who claim a home office should not. If you work out of your bedroom or dining room, the deduction may be invalid.

6. Business Meals, Travel And Entertainment: Schedule C is filled with tax deductions for the self-employed individual. And the IRS has figured out that often some self-employed individuals tend to claim excessive deductions. They then make the assumption that all such individuals may cheat so Schedule C will get a review.

7. Claiming 100% Use Of Your Car For Business: If you are self-employed and use your car for business be honest with how much you actually use the car for business. Keep very good records of the miles you drive. I know it’s a nuisance, but necessary.

8. Cash Businesses: If you have a cash-intensive business like an antique shop, junk shop, car wash, a bar, a hair salon, or a restaurant you are probably on the IRS’ short list! Whenever a lot of cash is involved, the assumption is someone is slipping some under the table!

9. Large Cash Transactions: The IRS requires reports to be filed for cash transactions in excess of $10,000 involving banks, casinos, car dealers and other businesses.

10. Math Errors: If you do your tax return in long hand, check your math and be sure to sign the return and put in the correct social security numbers. A sloppy return can trigger an audit.

Doing a tax return yourself is almost never a good idea.  Having a professional with many years of experience preparing tax returns can help reduce your chances of being audited even more by avoiding common errors do-it-yourselfers make.  If you’d like more information about how R&G Brenner can help you, please contact us here.

Source: CBS

NJ & NY Ranked Worst Tax Climates For Business

According to the Tax Foundation–a Washington D.C. based research firm–New Jersey & New York Sates were ranked the worst climates in the United States for business.

The Tax Foundation’s “State Business Tax Climate Index” compares the 50 states in five areas of taxation that impact business: corporate taxes; individual income taxes; sales taxes; unemployment insurance taxes; and taxes on property, including residential and commercial property.

New Jersey took the last place among 50 states in terms of business friendliness. New Jersey scored at the bottom by having the third-worst individual income tax, the fifth-worst sales tax, the 13th-worst corporate tax, and the second-worst property tax. The report said New Jersey’s and local tax burden percentage has consistently ranked among the nation’s highest, currently estimated at 12.2 percent of income (first nationally), above the current national average of 9.8 percent.

The report also said New Jersey taxpayers receive less federal funding per dollar of federal taxes paid than any other state, making the Garden State the nation’s biggest “donor state.” Per dollar of federal tax paid in 2005, New Jersey citizens received $0.61 in the way of federal spending.

New York was ranked at No. 49, beating only New Jersey. New York had the second-worst individual income tax, fifth-worst unemployment insurance tax and sixth-worst property tax.

During the past three decades, New York’s state and local tax burden percentage has ranked among the nation’s highest, currently estimated at 12.1 percent of income (second nationally), above the current national average of 9.8 percent.

The 10 lowest ranked, or worst, states in the 2012 Index are Iowa (No. 41), Maryland (No. 42), Wisconsin (No. 43), North Carolina (No. 44), Minnesota (No. 45), Rhode Island (No. 46), Vermont (No. 47), California (No. 48), New York (No. 49), and New Jersey (No. 50).

On the other hand, the 10 best states are Wyoming (No. 1), South Dakota (No. 2), Nevada (No. 3), Alaska (No. 4), Florida (No. 5), New Hampshire (No. 6), Washington (No. 7), Montana (No. 8), Texas (No. 9), and Utah (No. 10).

 Source: Insurance Journal