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« What is Your Retirement Strategy? | Main | Launching the Career of Your Dreams: How I Achieved My Dream Career Within 4 Years of College Graduation, Part 3 »

February 15, 2011

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If John and Mary each make $75k and a single person makes $150k, the single person will still pay more in taxes than the couple for a household. If a single person makes $75k and John makes $75k, while Mary doesn't work, John pays less in taxes than the single person.

Jessica, you took the keystrokes right off my finger tips! that is partly why I don't consider the "marriage penalty" as called by many as a penalty. no system is perfect, but the way we have it today makes sense to me. i have my gripes, but then again i don't have a better solution / alternative either.

If your POSSLQ doesn't work all year (for example, is unemployed), can you claim them as a dependent if you're not married?

It apppears that the tax code assumes that one married person in a couple is always either wholly or partially economically supporting the other. But that's kind of ridiculous because in the present day marriage often doesn't mean that. People can be "married" and supporting each other without being married, and dual career/high earning couples are becoming the norm.

The current tax code takes into account that some people may be supporting children who don't even live with them, and/or non-related children who do live with them. That makes sense and is based on the reality that divorced and blended families and unmarried parents exist.

Obviously, the tax assessment on adults living together needs to be modernized as well, so it is based solely on how much money is going into a household vs. how many total adults are being supported within that household by that money. Marriage (or not) shouldn't even factor into the equation. But of course, social conservatives would probably have a field day with that one, saying that it "destroys marriage!" and such, so good luck with that!


@KH - I think you'd be hard pressed to find a politician willing to change the tax code to tax everyone (or a tax bracket) equally.

Half the economic/funding issues with the state and federal governments could probably be eliminated if the tax code stopped the entitlements to people who are married and/or have children. Yes, I understand that children are expensive, but it was still a choice to have them, and in some cases, in mass quantity.

I'd love to see the numbers on tax revenue lost for the situations above versus the numbers doled out for welfare.

"Oh darling, it was meant to be. Your capital gains this year will offset my losses!" ROFLMAO.

Dual income families are also more likely to get hit with the AMT, as we are finding out this year. It looks like I will no longer get to deduct my charitable donations...

This is always in the back of my mind when I hear discussion of marriage versus civil-union. From a tax perspective, a civil union may work out to a better deal for a number of people.

i make 150,000 and my wife makes about 80,000. we are married and share the same last name. my tax advisor has us file separately so we do not go into a higher tax bracket. does this sound right?

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