The Republican Party renewed its effort on Saturday to throw out the so-called marriage tax penalty and asked President Clinton to endorse the proposal in his upcoming State of the Union address.
Rep. Jerry Weller of Illinois said in the GOP weekly radio address Saturday that working couples pay $1,400 more a year on average than they would if they were allowed to file as single people.
For example, combining the salaries of a husband and wife who make $30,500 a year each pushes that couple’s combined income of $61,000 into a higher tax bracket - 28 percent. Single people making $30,500 a year are in the 15 percent bracket.
“Since 1969, our tax laws have punished married couples when both spouses work,” Weller said, who is cosponsoring a bill with Rep. David McIntosh, R-Ind., to eliminate the provision.
“For no other reason than the decision to be joined in holy matrimony, more than 21 million couples a year are penalized. They pay more in taxes than they would if they were single,” Weller added.
Under the proposal, a married couple would have the choice of filing their income tax returns either jointly or as single individuals, depending on which status would result in a smaller tax bite.
Weller said legislation to change the tax system involving married couples has the support of 232 members in the House, while a version before the Senate also enjoys strong backing.
“Of all the challenges married couples face in providing home and hearth to America’s children, the U.S. tax code should not be one of them,” Weller said.
xxxx HOW IT WOULD WORK Under the proposal, a married couple would have the choice of filing their income tax returns either jointly or as single individuals, depending on which status would result in a smaller tax bite.