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Recent Developments in the Marriage Tax


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  • Daniel R. Feenberg
  • Harvey S. Rosen


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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4705.

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Date of creation: Apr 1994
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Publication status: published as National Tax Journal, vol. XLVIII, no. 1, pp. 91-191, (March 1995).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4705

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