Saying 'I Do' after the 2001 Tax Cuts

Brief

Saying 'I Do' after the 2001 Tax Cuts

Abstract

Various provisions of the 2001 tax cut change the marriage penalties or subsidies lower- and middle-income households may face. We focus on the higher marriage penalties that heads of household filers marrying single filers often confront -- the loss of valuable children's tax benefits for which single, childless taxpayers who marry would not be eligible. Specifically, we model six pertinent provisions of the law and find that (1) overall, the tax cut substantially reduces marriage penalties/increases marriage subsidies for most hypothetical married couples and (2) that the expanded child tax credit delivers the most relief of any provision.

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