May 2, 2001

Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Update

WASHINGTON D.C.—On March 29, a wide margin-30 percent of House Democrats-joined a unified Republican bloc to pass a tax cut for married couples and filers with children. The vote for the Marriage Tax Penalty Relief bill (HR 6) was 282-144. This is the second part of President Bush's three-part tax package to pass the U.S. House of Representatives.

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