In filing the federal income tax return, there is no requirement to identify a black couple or whatever your race is. Moreover, the US tax code does not contain specific racial group provisions but just because the tax code is considered race blind does not mean it’s race-neutral.
Black Couples Cost Higher Tax Penalty For Marriage Than White Couples
Black couples cost more in tax costs than white, married couples, according to a 2023 new report by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Researchers with the nonprofit think tank discovered that Black couples were more likely to encounter marriage penalties of 46 percent to 43 percent and less likely to receive marriage bonuses of 36 percent to 43 percent than white couples this 2023.
When tax filers in the U.S. get married they can face a “marriage bonus.” That’s when a household’s tax bill drops because a couple of files jointly and their incomes are disparate enough according to the Tax Foundation, another tax policy nonprofit. Couples can also face “marriage penalties,” when the tax bill raises. This normally occurs when two people with similar incomes marry and file jointly together.
According to the Tax Policy Center’s recent report said, researchers discovered fines were bigger and more prevalent for Black couples than white couples 59 percent to 51 percent for households with an adjusted gross income between $50,000 and $100,000.
There’s A Growing Collection Of Research On Race And Economics
The report, released this month, is part of a growing body of research into whether institutions and policies reinforce preexisting racial disparities, Gale said. “There’s a broader question about whether institutions and rules and customs that are blind about race are neutral concerning race, or if they reinforce preexisting disparities.”
The U.S. tax system is a good example of that, he said. Gale added the report created of earlier work done by legal scholar Dorothy Brown, who authored The Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans and How We Can Fix It. Brown has hypothesized that tax penalties are more frequent and larger for Black couples than white couples.
Brown, a Georgetown Law professor, called the Tax Policy Center’s report “an important step forward.” Earlier this year, a study concluded that Black Couples taxpayers face audits from the Internal Revenue Service at a more elevated rate compared to other demographic groups. Brown said it’s only beneficial that more people are knowing how race and tax problems are intertwined. “It’s a good thing for American taxpayers, generally, but taxpayers of color specifically.”
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