Empty-nesters Scenario Two children, No children, $5,200 child care itemized deductions ([double dagger]) Partner 1 wages $40,000 $74,300 Partner 2 wages 40,000 4,300 Tax MFJ 1,299 18,851 Unmarried (*) (852) 16,652 Marriage penalty $ 2,151 $ 2,199 As a percentage 2.7% 2.8% of gross income Calculated using the Tax Policy Center Marriage Bonus
and Penalty Calculator.
In addition, they can claim a marriage bonus
equivalent to 18 salary payments.
In fact, in some situations, a "marriage bonus
" would result when either of the two spouses had no taxable income, or had taxable income significantly lower than the other spouse's.
A Discussion of the Marriage Bonus
and the Marriage Tax
A much smaller percentage of couples would receive a marriage bonus
when the child was five: only 10.5 percent of parents with one child and 13.7 percent of couples with two or more children.
(20) For example, only married couples with disproportionate incomes (that is, traditional couples with one principal wage earner) tend to be eligible for the marriage bonus
. (21) Because of this, some commentators have argued that Congress structured the tax system to incentivize women to undertake conventional household roles and to discourage them from entering the wage-labor market.
Moreover, joint filing causes three significant departures from marriage and couples neutrality: the singles penalty, the marriage penalty, and the marriage bonus
. Each of these departures violates the tax norm of horizontal equity, which holds that taxpayers with similar income should pay a similar amount of taxes.
It then explains how this preference is better understood as tax aid for affluent husband care, rather than as a "marriage bonus
." Putting this "husband care" tax support in context, the Article draws on accounts of contemporary marriage, labor market data and family law history to show that the income tax system reinforces a broader policy system relying on valuable unpaid "husband care." Part II analyzes the conventional rationales for this tax preference, first using the lens of "affluent husband care" to challenge the standard assumptions about the difference between married and single primary breadwinners.
Cameron's priority is axing tax on share deals and a pounds 20 marriage bonus
, both mainly benefiting the better-off.
Every marriage bonus
can be seen, from the other side of the coin, as a singles penalty.
This goal requires that a couple's combined tax liability remain unchanged with marriage, neither rising with marriage (a "marriage tax" or a "marriage penalty") nor falling with marriage (a "marriage subsidy" or a "marriage bonus