Marriage Penalties and Bonuses under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

• Marriage bonuses can be as high as 21 percent of a couple’s income, and marriage penalties can be as high as 12 percent of a couple’s income.

• While research shows that marriage penalties and bonuses do not have much effect on whether a couple will marry, they do impact how much each spouse works.

• It is possible to completely eliminate both marriage penalties and bonuses, but it would require a significant overhaul of the tax code that drastically changes the current distribution of income taxes paid.

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