Just in time for this year’s tax filing season (but a bit late for St. Valentine’s Day), the Tax Policy Center has updated its marriage bonus and penalty calculator . The new version lets you compare a couple’s income tax liability when they file as singles or as married for either the 2013 or 2014
Our new Marriage Bonus and Penalty calculator , despite all its Valentine’s Day finery, ignores the new 0.9 percent Medicare payroll tax hike buried in the 2010 health law. The extra levy affects only a few high-income couples but in very different ways. Lucky couples will collect marriage bonuses
Love is blind, says the adage, and that can be a good thing when it comes to taxes. That’s because married couples often pay a marriage penalty—a higher federal income tax bill than they would if they were single. But for most couples, marriage means a lower tax bill—a marriage bonus in tax-speak.
The federal income tax is not neutral when it comes to marriage. Get married and you and your spouse may pay less to Uncle Sam. Or you may pay more. It all depends. Whether you get a marriage bonus —your combined tax bill goes down—or suffer a marriage penalty —you pay more as a couple—depends on