I haven’t looked at the tax tables in a long time since i became married filing jointly, but I recently took a second look. It appears that single people still pay more tax than married people. Why is this? And, why aren’t single people more outraged about this, esp in this dawn of marriage equality. Aren’t singles entitled to the same rights?
In my experience if both members of a married couple are working, they pay a higher tax rate than they would if they weren’t married. Maybe this is why.
Why would we be upset about this? Married couples typically operate as a single “unit” financially, so why shouldn’t they be able to combine finances, especially if one works and one doesn’t (or there’s a big income imbalance), and have the deduction and tax rates affected commensurately? Seems pretty fair to me.
I think it is unfair, a single person shouldnt be discriminated against for being single
There are three ways taxes could treat a married couple
A) just like two single taxpayers with separate incomes
B) like one single taxpayer with the same total income
C) in some different and so inherently “special” fashion.
If A is chosen, then a couple both making $50,0000 would each be in the 25% bracket pay less than a couple in which one makes $100,000 and the other $0 and would be in the 28% bracket. Certainly some would claim this is unfair.
Also under A a couple in which one makes $100,000 but lives in a community property state would be treated as if each made $50,000 and so pay less than the same couple in a non-community property state. I believe this was, in fact, the reason that married filing jointly status was first adopted in the U.S.
If B is chosen, then a couple both making $50,000 would be taxed at 28% and they wold say it is unfair that there is a marriage penalty since if they were single they’d pay only 25%.
If C is chosen, you claim that is unfair.
Therefore, there is apparently no tax scheme with progressive rates that everyone would agree is fair.
And I know this isnt the same exact thing, but I also find it unfair when a single seems to pay more in other situations. Lets say at a Halloween carnival, (i know, i know, but im tired and this happened, so hey its anexample) where a single person pays five for admission and a family of four pays ten.
Because it’s worth it.
But that doesn’t really happen, does it? I’ve seen prices set where the more people are involved, the cheaper it is per person (usually on those rides that cost extra or “fast passes” at theme parks ) , but there’s no requirement that the four people who pay the reduced price per person be family or even have met each other before that day. I’ve also seen places where children under certain ages are reduced or free, but a single person bringing a niece/nephew/friend’s child under that age gets the free/reduced admission and the family with children above the specified age gets no discount. I mean, lots of things are advertised as “X dollars for a family of four” but then “family of four” is defined as two adults and two children under some particular age.
Doesn’t that only apply to some couples where one partner is a dependant of the other due to not having a paying job or having one that pays very little? If they weren’t married, that income-less person would have to apply for help from the state. Of course, unmarried couples living together get it worse both ways.
I don’t think it’s fair, but like OldGuy says, I’m not more worked up about it because no matter how you structure it it’s going to be “unfair” to someone.
I mostly get ticked off when someone rails against the so-called “marriage penalty”, when the majority of married couples actually have a marriage bonus.
I also am somewhat annoyed at the marriage bonus given to couples that have unequal incomes, yet no kids. I think that perhaps it would be better to get rid of this marriage bonus, yet increase the deductions for dependents. That way couples with lots of kids – not all of which may have been planned – are not unduly hurt, yet childless couples do not take advantage of both tax bonuses AND the financial bonuses of two people living in one household.
But honestly, the deck is so stacked against single people anyway, I have surrendered all my battles. What’s the use?
I could itemize when I was single and get a far bigger deduction and more back. Now married with a wife that makes a decent salary, we are stuck with the standard deduction and our combined taxes are higher. Could we get someone to modify the title to: “Married: Why no protest of marriage penalty”? I guess if we had a couple kids my tune might change.
In other words: It all depends on the situation. Singles are not the universal loser in federal income taxation.
The whole tax situation is FUBAR, so yeah it’s not fair that singles pay more, but it’s not fair in 1000 other ways too.
Call it a “Happiness Tax.”
Ow, ow, ow! It was only a joke, honey!
I was thinking “Freedom isn’t free”.
We figure it’s fair that we pay some extra taxes in exchange for all the wild sex that you married people gave up.
I didn’t know you were single Nemo! How *you *doin’?
Any tax savings you garner as a married couple is more than offset by the amount of stupid crap your SO buys.
Uh, speaketh from experience?
Of course. I’m sure she’d say the same about me, though. It’s pretty universal.