March 23, 2001

Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Update

WASHINGTON D.C.—On March 22, the House Ways and Means Committee voted 23-16 to pass the Marriage penalty Relief Bill, H.R. 6. This is the second part of President Bush’s three-part tax package and is expected to pass the House with a 30 to 40 vote margin. Floor debate on H.R. 6 is scheduled for Wednesday, March 28, at 9:00 a.m. and Thursday, March 29 at 10:00 a.m.

The National Center for Home Education, the 70,000 members of the Home School Legal Association, and many home school families across America urge Congress to support H.R. 6 as an important step in ending the unfair treatment of married couples and families in the tax code.

  • A nation founded on the principle that all men are created equal should treat all married couples equally in the tax code.

  • The institutions of marriage and family, the fabric of this great nation, are under assault. Congress should promote a marriage friendly, family friendly tax code by adopting policies that promote and reward family relationships and responsibilities.

  • Government policies should promote, not discriminate against marriage. Today, the code taxes thousands of married couples an average of $1,400 more than if they were not married.

The Problem

The penalty results from a number of problems in the tax code including the fact that a married couple’s standard deduction is less than twice that of a single tax payer, and the graduated tax code pushes married couples into a higher tax bracket (e.g. from 15% to 28%) sooner than if they were not married and filing as singles.

The Solution

H.R. 6 would take a giant step to treating married couples equally with those who are single:

  • H.R. 6 sets the standard deduction for married couples filing jointly to twice of that of single filers;

  • H.R. 6 sets the ceiling for the 15 percent tax bracket for married couples filing jointly to twice that of a single filer;

  • H.R. 6 increases the alternative minimum tax exemption amount for the 15% bracket;

  • H.R. 6 increases by 10 percent the earned income limit for the purposes of the earned-income tax credit for married couples filing jointly; and

  • H.R. 6 increases the child tax credit by $100 per year beginning in 2001 and ending at $1,000 in 2006.

Marriage has been unfairly taxed long enough. By passing HR 6 and ushering in Marriage Tax Penalty Relief, Congress will help end a long-standing discrimination against marriage and once again support marriage by treating married couples fairly.

 Other Resources

More information on the Marriage Tax Penalty