Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Can anyone answer this question for me? Please?

This from the AP:
“The House worked Wednesday to lower taxes for some married couples, its first election-year attempt to keep alive some of President Bush's most popular tax cuts.

The bill would permanently change three parts of tax law that cause some married couples to pay higher taxes than they would as single individuals, reducing their taxes $105 billion over the next decade. Some married couples face a tax increase next year if the changes expire as scheduled.

‘‘When the only thing that changes is that they fall in love and get married, only to discover that their tax obligation is dramatically increased ... that just doesn't make sense," said Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y.”

Could someone please explain the following (because it is never ever explained):

When we say that the government penalizes married couples because married couples get taxed more than they would if they had remained individuals, does this actually mean:

The married couple’s total tax bills exceed the total tax bills of both individuals added together

Or

The married couple as a unit pays more taxes than either one would on their own?

It’s a big difference. The first one really does charge married couples more, the other one simply fails to lower tax rates on individuals once they become married units.

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