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Marriage Penalties and Bonuses

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Several features of the current income tax code result in marriage "penalties" and "bonuses." Single-earner couples who file jointly pay lower average tax rates than those filing individually, and two-earner couples with spouses earning similar sized incomes face higher average tax rates than couples earning dissimilar incomes.

Suggested citation: “Marriage Penalties and Bonuses,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 97-08, pp. 13, 08.01.1997.

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