Saturday, May 1, 2010

Paying The "Marriage Penalty": A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

When I got married, I assumed I was going to get some breaks on my taxes. After all, my entire life I've been told that being married entitles you to more money from Uncle Sam.

Apparently, I've been lied to.

My wife Ramona has been working with our tax guy this week, and he informed us that we're going to be hit with a "marriage penalty."

Apparently, the United States of America does give married couples a tax break...but only if one of the people in the marriage is working.

In other words: U.S. tax law hasn't stepped into the 21st century -- hell, it hasn't stepped into the mid-1970s -- by realizing that these days, both spouses work in most married homes.

In addition, apparently Ramona and I now make too much money -- well, maybe our lifestyle really is too lavish. I mean, a 1-bedroom apartment in California's San Fernando Valley and eating regularly off of fast food value menus does scream "affluence." So now we're in a higher tax bracket.

So in other words:

We're being punished because a) I'm OK with my wife working. And b) We've actually managed to achieve some moderate financial success in our careers after working our butts off for several years.

You want to know why the divorce rate in this country is so high today?


That's right, I've discovered the problem. More than 50% of marriages -- the ones that fail -- actually are hummin' along quite well till tax season comes. Then when they find out that they would've had more money if they stayed single, the married couple starts to look upon one another as a liability.

And that's where the fights about money, lack of listening, and bad sex lives begin.

It all starts with taxes.

In fact, I'm willing to bet that when one of these spouses cheats on the other, the other spouse is happy. Seriously. I can just picture it in my head: The wife walking into the bedroom, seeing her husband with another woman, her looking at the two of them for a minute, and exclaiming:

Great!! Now I can get another $500 from the state!!

In the end, I will pay my extra taxes. And I would never even dream of divorcing my lovely wife.

But the next time Ramona gets mad at me for something, I'm going to tell her:

Hey I'm losing money on this deal, you know!!

Not sure how she's gonna take that.


And now for this week's:


Recently in a European basketball game, a team makes a jumper in the closing seconds of a close game and celebrates in the middle of the court, with fans and coaches alike running onto the floor and going crazy.

Just one problem:

There was 0.6 seconds left on the clock.

And in the middle of this celebration, the other team throws up a half-court shot, makes it, and wins the game.

One of the most surreal sports moments I've ever seen. View the video here.


Another Suburban Mom said...

If you have kids, you get a whole bunch of money back from the govt. Otherwise, yeah the DINKS thing screws you with the tax people.

Greg said...

A Frew Things to remember

1) Hey at least she's bringing in some money...honestly being a couple is better for long term wealth than if you were both single.

2)Calculate taxes both ways, married filing jointly, married filling separately, if there's a huge disparity in income, separately might be the best way to go

3) Besides, likely soon, you'll have kids and therefore be able to wrench more money out of the govt. still...

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