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Marriage Tax

Countless factors play a role in determining the amount of federal income tax that individuals and families pay on an annual basis. One of these factors is an individual’s marital status. Some married couples pay lower taxes as a result of filing jointly; many other married couples, however, end up paying higher taxes when they elect to file jointly. When this occurs, the married couple is said to be paying a marriage tax. This marriage tax, or marriage penalty, most often affects married couples where both spouses make similar amounts of money and have a higher than average annual income.

The United States employs a system of progressive taxation, where the rate at which an individual pays taxes increases as his or her income increases. For ...

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