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That effectively means that couples in these brackets are taxed as if they were still single taxpayers.
Despite the changes, some couples still could face a bit of marriage penalty.
In most situations, when couples file jointly, each partner accepts equal responsibility for any tax due or penalties that might be assessed if problems arise with the return.
One penalty of concern to couples has nothing to do with tax return mistakes.
This occurs when their combined earnings push them into the four higher brackets (25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent, and 35 percent), where the income amounts are not strictly doubled. This is often the case when there is a large difference between a husband’s and wife’s incomes.
A home is a major acquisition, regardless of marital status.
If you do not reconcile your new name and tax ID number, your return could be rejected because of the mismatch.Combining incomes could bring the higher earnings into a lower tax bracket.Some tax credits are only available to a married couple when they file a joint return.It’s the marriage penalty, where some dual-income couples find that their combined tax bill is larger than it would have been if they were still filing singly.However, tax law changes since 2001 (and in effect through 2010) have eased the possible penalty.
Most couples prefer the joint option, but depending upon your particular financial and tax circumstances, separate filings could be warranted.