marriage penalty

Definition

A consequence of the current tax system which results in most married people collectively paying more in taxes, whether they file jointly or separately, than they would if they weren't married, and were filing with single status. Various pieces of legislation have been passed which have removed this penalty in some circumstances, and currently the marriage penalty has been temporarily suspended for some of the lower tax brackets through 2010. Unless reinstated, or if new laws are passed, the penalty will take effect again in 2011.
Browse Definitions by Letter: # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Marlboro Friday Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004