Marriage Penalty


DEFINITION of 'Marriage Penalty'

The increased tax burden for married couples compared to when they were filing seperate tax returns as singles. Progressive tax rate structures in the United States led to a situation where higher income individuals and couples pay higher taxes than their lower income counterparts. The marriage penalty has been at the center of many political debates and the United States governement has taken steps to resolve the taxation discrepency.

BREAKING DOWN 'Marriage Penalty'

The fact that married couples tend to pay more in taxes than single filers is debatable. However, some believe that the marriage penalty has led to greater consideration by couples to avoid marriage.

  1. Income Tax

    A tax that governments impose on financial income generated by ...
  2. Marital Deduction

    A tax deduction that allows an individual to transfer some assets ...
  3. Head Of Household

    A status held by the person in a household who is running the ...
  4. Standard Deduction

    A base amount of income that is not subject to tax and that can ...
  5. Marital Property

    A U.S. state-level legal distinction of a married individual's ...
  6. Equitable Division

    A legal theory that guides how property acquired during the course ...
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    IRS rules prevent you from maintaining joint Roth IRA accounts. However, you may accomplish your goal of contributing larger ... Read Full Answer >>
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    Social Security spousal benefits are partial retirement or disability benefits granted to the spouses of qualifying taxpayers.  Qualifying ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are Social Security benefits affected by marriage?

    The amount of Social Security benefit you are eligible to collect upon retirement is not affected by marriage. Your benefit ... Read Full Answer >>
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