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Marriage Penalty

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By Liz Pulliam Weston and Liz Pulliam Weston,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 9, 2001
I may be getting married in 2002, and I wonder about the so-called marriage penalty in the federal tax code. What is the latest word on that? Would it be wise to postpone my marriage to 2003 to avoid this penalty? Unless your intended is extraordinarily patient, the answer is no. You'd need to postpone your wedding until at least 2005, and even that might not help. Most of the marriage-penalty relief that was passed by Congress this summer doesn't even begin to take effect for three years, and its full impact won't be felt until 2009.
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BUSINESS
March 27, 2007
Editor's note: Every Tuesday through the end of tax season, The Sun will run an edited transcript of Baltimoresun.com's weekly tax advice column featuring three experts from the Hunt Valley accounting firm SC&H Group. Can you explain how/when you have to report winnings from gambling? - Theresa, Baltimore Gambling winnings include winnings from lotteries, raffles and sweepstakes and proceeds from wagers. Gambling winnings from charity-sponsored events are also includable in gross income.
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NEWS
By Benjamin L. Cardin | February 10, 2000
IMAGINE a young couple, planning their wedding, making the arrangements for a new life together, thinking about the changes that married life will bring. Under todays tax laws, one of the unexpected -- and unwelcome -- surprises awaiting them comes when April 15 rolls around. Because of the combined effects of the provisions of our tax code, many married couples pay more in federal income taxes than the two individuals would owe if they were not married. The need to provide relief from this marriage tax penalty is a top priority of Congress.
BUSINESS
By EILEEN AMBROSE and EILEEN AMBROSE,SUN COLUMNIST | May 28, 2006
The wedding season is under way, and couples' minds are likely focused on invitations, dresses, tuxes and tiered cakes. But sometime between the honeymoon and April 15, newlyweds will need to consider taxes. No longer single-filers, couples have the choice of submitting returns as married filing jointly or married filing separately. That's the easy part. Being married can throw you into a higher tax bracket or result in other changes on your federal return. Here are a few tax items to consider as you start on the journey of wedded bliss: A change in status: You'll need to file a new W-4 form with your employer to change your filing status from single to married.
BUSINESS
By DALLAS MORNING NEWS | February 22, 1998
WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers are eager to remove the tax collector from the bonds of marriage.Driven by this year's midterm congressional elections and hopes for a budget surplus, lawmakers are lining up to introduce proposals to cut taxes.The top item on many lists: elimination of the marriage penalty, which taxes married couples at higher rates than singles."Our tax code continues to punish and undermines the traditional institution of marriage," said Rep. Jerry Weller, an Illinois Republican, who is sponsoring a bill with Rep. David M. McIntosh, an Indiana Republican, to eliminate the marriage penalty.
BUSINESS
By Jane Bryant Quinn | September 5, 1999
SINGLE PEOPLE, unite. You have nothing to lose but the "singles penalty" in the federal income tax.You've probably never heard of it. Everyone shouts about the "marriage penalty." But singles pay more than marrieds do on the same income.Congress' $792 billion tax-cut proposal would make the disparity worse.Under the famous marriage penalty, two working people might pay more in taxes as a couple than they would as two singles. But that applies only to a portion of married taxpayers.The rest pay less as a couple than they would as two singles.
NEWS
By Karen Hosler and Karen Hosler,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | February 1, 2000
WASHINGTON -- After years of trying, congressional Republicans seem likely this year to achieve their ambition of easing a tax quirk that discriminates against married couples, lawmakers in both parties say. House Republican leaders unveiled a proposal yesterday to ease the "marriage penalty" for up to 25 million American families -- an idea that has also been endorsed in concept by President Clinton and congressional Democrats. "The American people support this; representatives and senators from both parties support this," said Rep. Bill Archer, the Texas Republican who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
NEWS
By Richard Simon and Richard Simon,LOS ANGELES TIMES | April 29, 2004
WASHINGTON - The House voted yesterday to end the tax code's "marriage penalty" permanently in the first of a series of GOP efforts to highlight popular elements of President Bush's tax cuts before the November election. As part of Bush's 2001 tax cut, the House voted to end a quirk in the law that forced many married couples to pay more in taxes if they filed jointly than if they filed as individuals. But the tax relief was temporary, with the benefit decreasing next year and expiring at the end of the decade.
NEWS
By Karen Hosler and Karen Hosler,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | August 4, 1999
WASHINGTON -- Republican negotiators forged a compromise last night on a tax-cut bill that would reduce rates by 1 percentage point for Americans at every income level and phase out the "marriage penalty" that affects many two-earner couples.Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott told reporters that the negotiators had decided to embrace the House's approach of cutting taxes for everyone regardless of income -- though not by an equal amount -- rather than a Senate plan to cut income taxes only for those near the bottom of the scale.
BUSINESS
By Karen Lazarovic and Karen Lazarovic,Columbia Features Inc | March 6, 1991
Q.I have been living with my boyfriend for two years and we are contemplating marriage. We both earn good salaries: $90,000 and $80,000 as attorneys. I have often heard of the "marriage penalty" when it comes to paying taxes. Can you explain how it would apply if we were married in 1991.A. The "marriage penalty" refers to the extra tax a couple would pay if they married and filed their tax returns jointly versus remaining single and filing as individuals.The new tax law that went into effect last fall increases that marriage penalty.
NEWS
By Richard Simon and Richard Simon,LOS ANGELES TIMES | September 23, 2004
WASHINGTON - Congressional negotiators approved late last night extending tax cuts that benefit middle-income Americans, delivering to President Bush a victory on a centerpiece of his economic stimulus program that he can trumpet on the campaign trail in the final weeks before the election. The Republican-controlled House is expected to vote as early as today to extend three tax cuts that are due to expire at the end of this year - an increase in the tax credit for families with children, an expansion in the number of taxpayers in the 10 percent tax bracket, and tax relief for married couples.
NEWS
By Richard Simon and Richard Simon,LOS ANGELES TIMES | April 29, 2004
WASHINGTON - The House voted yesterday to end the tax code's "marriage penalty" permanently in the first of a series of GOP efforts to highlight popular elements of President Bush's tax cuts before the November election. As part of Bush's 2001 tax cut, the House voted to end a quirk in the law that forced many married couples to pay more in taxes if they filed jointly than if they filed as individuals. But the tax relief was temporary, with the benefit decreasing next year and expiring at the end of the decade.
BUSINESS
By Liz Pulliam Weston and Liz Pulliam Weston,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 9, 2001
I may be getting married in 2002, and I wonder about the so-called marriage penalty in the federal tax code. What is the latest word on that? Would it be wise to postpone my marriage to 2003 to avoid this penalty? Unless your intended is extraordinarily patient, the answer is no. You'd need to postpone your wedding until at least 2005, and even that might not help. Most of the marriage-penalty relief that was passed by Congress this summer doesn't even begin to take effect for three years, and its full impact won't be felt until 2009.
BUSINESS
By Liz Pulliam Weston and Liz Pulliam Weston,LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 29, 2001
We are seniors, both in our early 80s. We have about $80,000 in certificates of deposit about to mature and we are faced with paltry interest rates of 4 percent to 5 percent. At times, your columns have given examples of future returns using an assumption of 10 percent interest. Where are these investments and are they safe for us? The 10 percent figure refers to the average return you might expect over time from a broadly diversified portfolio of stocks - not an interest rate you can expect from any safe or guaranteed investment.
NEWS
By Karen Hosler and Karen Hosler,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | May 10, 2001
WASHINGTON - Senate leaders appear likely to include a proposal that would increase tax benefits for pension savings, such as IRA and 401(k) plans, in the $1.35 trillion tax cut package that they hope to pass this month. Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the senior Democrat on the tax-writing Finance Committee, said it is "very possible" that the tax package will include a pension savings measure similar to one the House passed overwhelmingly last week. A Republican leadership aide confirmed that a pension measure has tentatively been included in the Senate's tax bill.
NEWS
By Karen Hosler and Karen Hosler,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | September 14, 2000
WASHINGTON - The House failed yesterday to override President Clinton's veto of a bill that would have cut taxes for nearly all married couples, blocking a major Republican priority and leaving the issue for voters to decide in the November elections. The 270-158 tally in favor of overriding Clinton's veto drew the support of 49 Democrats. But it fell 16 votes short of the two-thirds majority required to enact the bill over the president's objections. The measure had been promoted as a way to ease the tax burden on the many couples who are said to pay a "marriage penalty" because their combined tax bill is higher than it would be if they were single.
NEWS
By Ellen Goodman | June 12, 1998
BOSTON -- I'd like to think that it's just a bit of June madness. After all, this is our nation's bridal month and with an average wedding costing about $17,000 these days, the price of marriage could be on anyone's mind.But it isn't flower bills that have grabbed the imagination of the public and politicians this year. It's tax bills. It's what's known far and wide as the marriage penalty.We are now totally convinced that even if two can live cheaper than one, they'll pay higher income taxes.
NEWS
July 24, 2000
RATHER than try to fix what's broken, Republicans in Congress seem fixated on gaining political advantage in November. Look at the bill they concocted to deal with the so-called marriage penalty tax -- a problem that afflicts mainly well-off Americans. Republicans passed a hugely expensive bill -- $293 billion over 10 years -- that President Clinton rightly promises to veto. That's on top of a Republican bill to repeal the estate tax -- another large break for the rich -- at a cost of $104 billion over 10 years and $850 billion over 20 years.
NEWS
By Karen Hosler and Karen Hosler,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | July 19, 2000
WASHINGTON - Poised for an election-year showdown with President Clinton over how to spend the budget surplus, the Republican-led Senate voted yesterday to cut taxes for all married couples - and dared Clinton to carry out his threat to veto the bill. Eight Democrats joined all 53 Republicans present on the 61-38 tally, which sent the measure on to a committee to reconcile differences with similar legislation passed by the House. A final bill is expected to be sent to the president by the end of the week.
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