Recent Developments in the Marriage Tax
NBER Working Paper No. 4705 (Also Reprint No. r1958)
The new tax law increases tax rates of high income individuals, and expands the earned income tax credit for low income individuals. We use a sample of actual tax returns to compute estimates of the 'marriage tax' - the change in couples joint tax upon marriage - under this new law. We predict that in 1994 52 percent of American couples will pay a marriage tax, with an average of about $1,244; 38 percent will receive a subsidy averaging about $1,399. These aggregate figures mask a considerable amount of dispersion in the population. Under the new law, the marriage tax for certain low-income families can exceed $3,000 annually; for certain very high income families it can exceed $10,000 annually.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4705
Published: National Tax Journal, vol. XLVIII, no. 1, pp. 91-191, (March 1995). citation courtesy of
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