Marriage penalty

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Marriage penalty

A tax that has the effect of penalizing a married couple because they pay more tax on a joint tax return than they would if they file tax returns individually.

Marriage Penalty

The higher tax rate that some married couples pay when they file jointly for their income taxes. Married couples filing jointly have different tax brackets than single persons; this can work to the advantage of couples with highly disparate income and single income households; however, it can work to the disadvantage of couples with roughly the same income. One refers to this as the marriage penalty. Some married couples file as single person to avoid the marriage penalty.
References in periodicals archive ?
Also marriage penalties, marriage bonuses, passive investment rules, divorce property settlements and preferential treatment of donations to charitable organizations of securities and cash versus other assets--all are discriminatory, he says.
Among other things, the statement calls for federal, state, and local governments to support and promote marriage as an explicit goal of domestic policy, reduce marriage penalties in the tax code, and reconsider no-fault divorce laws.
This middle-class-parent penalty not only raises issues of fairness, it also generates marginal tax rates and marriage penalties for moderate-income families that are as high or higher than those facing wealthier taxpayers.
The WFTRA extends the current 10% tax bracket for married filing jointly (MFJ) and single taxpayers, the expanded 15% MFJ tax bracket and the MFJ standard deduction designed to eliminate previously existing marriage penalties.
In addition to seeking pay raises, flight attendants want improvements in their pensions, an end to marriage penalties, and stronger job security guarantees if the airline is acquired by or merged with another carrier.
The Bobs and Betties of the world would see their current marriage penalties resulting from the tax rate structure completely wiped out by this date, and a rate reduction -- from 15 percent to 14 percent for the lowest bracket -- would further lighten their tax burden.