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(Yahoo)   Tax policies favor married people   (shine.yahoo.com) divider line 54
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1605 clicks; posted to Business » on 18 Jan 2013 at 2:01 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-18 12:52:20 PM
Let me fix both headlines:

Tax policies favor married people people rich enough to hire an accountant to dramatically lower their taxes
 
2013-01-18 02:04:38 PM
This article isn't about tax policy, it's about government and private policies generally. The study included tax policy as one factor that it considered, but it did not reach the conclusion that tax policies favor single people. It concluded that you're financially better off getting married than remaining single, despite the tax disadvantages.
 
2013-01-18 02:08:14 PM
I don't get this. What matters is the income of their partner. If it's "unemployed", then the tax advantages are greater.
 
2013-01-18 02:17:36 PM
Well it's not like there's ANOTHER reason to be married.
 
2013-01-18 02:22:39 PM
As a married person I suppose I'm getting some of the benefits but I also wonder why I would be getting any tax benefits from being married in the first place? My guess is that the government is trying to encourage people to get married because we as a society feel that it is better to be married than single and thus we try to impose social policy through taxation?
 
2013-01-18 02:32:33 PM

Rapmaster2000: I don't get this. What matters is the income of their partner. If it's "unemployed", then the tax advantages are greater.


And if it's not their taking a job away from a single person.


They're already getting the economy of scale of living together. There should be a "marriage penalty".
 
2013-01-18 02:34:30 PM
Hey Subby.

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-01-18 02:43:05 PM

Pincy: As a married person I suppose I'm getting some of the benefits but I also wonder why I would be getting any tax benefits from being married in the first place? My guess is that the government is trying to encourage people to get married because we as a society feel that it is better to be married than single and thus we try to impose social policy through taxation?


Marriage used to equal kids when it was a strictly heterosexual deal. So when you wanted to issue up any kind of credit for forming a family unit, you just gave it to married people. Now the reality is we should likely restructure it to focus around dependent deductions as opposed to marriage. Before anyone goes off on a rant about not wanting kids and why should they pay more, kids are an important social commodity. In that when I'm 90, I would prefer to have a younger doctor as opposed to someone from my generation, thus someone needs to engage in spawning and they should get some perks from it.

The other issue is that married couples tend to be more stable. People will stable households are less likely to perform violent crimes and a bunch of things that I'm sure some sociologist would be happy to lecture us on. So from that aspect, married people paying less is kind of like that break on your car insurance you get after 25. If you're married and stable you're less likely to use certain social resources or cost society money with unstable behavior, so you get a tax break.

/also I don't want a nurse from my generation when I turn 90, I want younger and easier on the eyes
//dob I guess
 
2013-01-18 02:46:16 PM
Oh and Pincy, on the note of social policy via taxation, we do it in all kinds of areas, known as deductibles. If you put money away for retirement you get a deductible and can possibly avoid having some of your income fall into a higher tax bracket (society is rewarding you for preparing for your own needs later in life). Same with donating money to charity, college tuition funds, etc. The only reason that social policy via martial status is really an issue right now is that martial status is a big issue right now.
 
2013-01-18 03:04:06 PM
Good thing I'm single.
 
2013-01-18 03:04:29 PM
Single people have many, many, many financial advantages over married people.
 
2013-01-18 03:04:42 PM

tricycleracer: Good thing I'm single.


Oh wait, this is this thread.

Scratch that.  I'm married.  For tax reasons.
 
2013-01-18 03:07:54 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: Single people have many, many, many financial advantages over married people.


Like no wife, blowing my money on shoes.
 
2013-01-18 03:10:32 PM

Happy Hours: They're already getting the economy of scale of living together. There should be a "marriage penalty".


Why? Why is the government penalizing married people a necessity, a requirement, something that just MUST happen?

"Well, they're saving money on , so the government should punish them for that."
 
2013-01-18 03:14:21 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: Single people have many, many, many financial advantages over married people.


Other than not having to pay for a ring or a wedding, what are the financial advantages?
 
2013-01-18 03:15:13 PM
Tax policy favors being married under some circumstances and punishes them for others.

There is one main factor - income disparity. If there is only a single earner when married or if there is a great disparity between their incomes is great than being married is better than being single. If both partners make a similar amount it is often better to be single. Big tax deductions/credits like children and mortgage interest can also influence where the benefit lies.
 
2013-01-18 03:23:35 PM
I thought it was married people are favored so long as one of them makes a lot more money than the other. That's what we learned in HS economics. Yeah, probably doesn't hold weight.
 
2013-01-18 03:31:44 PM
You better check your privilege, married people.
 
2013-01-18 03:44:34 PM
our accountant told us that it would cost us $5k a year to be married, and instead suggested that we take a vacation with that money.
 
2013-01-18 04:00:52 PM
as someone who has recently married, bought a house and had a kid, is it worth it to get someone to do your taxes? and how much does that run?

note: I do not have a small business, am not self-employed, only donate about $50 a year to the girl scout cookie pushers in the neighborhood, no investment income. I am a very boring person.

I usually use turbo tax and just take the standard, but I wonder if a professional would be worth it.

I have done some googling and the number I run across is about $400 to have someone prepare your taxes. Does this sound about right? Somehow I don't think I will get my money back from a professional over software.

/working with the theory that if I pay someone $400 they had better find a way to get my return to be $400+ more than what I do myself.
 
2013-01-18 04:09:17 PM

Hyjamon: as someone who has recently married, bought a house and had a kid, is it worth it to get someone to do your taxes? and how much does that run?

note: I do not have a small business, am not self-employed, only donate about $50 a year to the girl scout cookie pushers in the neighborhood, no investment income. I am a very boring person.

I usually use turbo tax and just take the standard, but I wonder if a professional would be worth it.

I have done some googling and the number I run across is about $400 to have someone prepare your taxes. Does this sound about right? Somehow I don't think I will get my money back from a professional over software.

/working with the theory that if I pay someone $400 they had better find a way to get my return to be $400+ more than what I do myself.


If you have few and simple investments, and your income is from regular employment, then there's not a whole lot a professional accountant can do for you that Turbo Tax or a similar product can't.

If you do go to a professional, go to an actual accountant |(e.g. a CPA) , not a place like H&R Block. They generally just run the same software as you can buy off the shelf.
 
2013-01-18 05:00:22 PM

dletter: Let me fix both headlines:

Tax policies favor married people people rich enough to hire an accountant to dramatically lower their taxes


Durrrrrrrrrr.

The irs publishes effective tax rates by quintile. You are free to go show the poor paying a higher rate than those evil rich. It doesn't happen. But feel free to convince yourself of your false assertions.
 
2013-01-18 05:08:06 PM

ha-ha-guy: Before anyone goes off on a rant about not wanting kids and why should they pay more, kids are an important social commodity.


I'm married with no kids (and will never have any). I have NO PROBLEM paying more in taxes because having kids is hella expensive and a giant pain in the ass. Don't get me wrong, I like kids and have a lot of fun with the kids in my family and the kids of my friends. I just want to go home to my kid-free home at the end of the day and play some violent video games without fear of my kid picking up the F word and saying it in front of my mom. Do you see what I do for you, Mom?????

THAT being said, I also don't have a problem with my taxes paying for schools. Kids can be a commodity or a liability. The easiest way to make them a commodity is by educating them properly.
 
2013-01-18 05:43:24 PM

Mike Chewbacca: ha-ha-guy: Before anyone goes off on a rant about not wanting kids and why should they pay more, kids are an important social commodity.

I'm married with no kids (and will never have any). I have NO PROBLEM paying more in taxes because having kids is hella expensive and a giant pain in the ass. Don't get me wrong, I like kids and have a lot of fun with the kids in my family and the kids of my friends. I just want to go home to my kid-free home at the end of the day and play some violent video games without fear of my kid picking up the F word and saying it in front of my mom. Do you see what I do for you, Mom?????

THAT being said, I also don't have a problem with my taxes paying for schools. Kids can be a commodity or a liability. The easiest way to make them a commodity is by educating them properly.


I would like to state that, despite appearances to the contrary, Mike Chewbacca is not my alt.
 
2013-01-18 06:12:56 PM

Theaetetus: Mike Chewbacca: ha-ha-guy: Before anyone goes off on a rant about not wanting kids and why should they pay more, kids are an important social commodity.

I'm married with no kids (and will never have any). I have NO PROBLEM paying more in taxes because having kids is hella expensive and a giant pain in the ass. Don't get me wrong, I like kids and have a lot of fun with the kids in my family and the kids of my friends. I just want to go home to my kid-free home at the end of the day and play some violent video games without fear of my kid picking up the F word and saying it in front of my mom. Do you see what I do for you, Mom?????

THAT being said, I also don't have a problem with my taxes paying for schools. Kids can be a commodity or a liability. The easiest way to make them a commodity is by educating them properly.

I would like to state that, despite appearances to the contrary, Mike Chewbacca is not my alt.


I'm totally going to take that as a compliment.
 
2013-01-18 06:16:43 PM

thurstonxhowell: Fark_Guy_Rob: Single people have many, many, many financial advantages over married people.

Other than not having to pay for a ring or a wedding, what are the financial advantages?


Issues regarding estates come to mind. My sister in law just got married to a guy who's dying so none of the money will be lost to his scumbag relatives and thieving son. They were going to do it anyway next year but the cancer diagnosis pushed things up in a hurry.
 
2013-01-18 06:33:12 PM

Gortex: Hyjamon: as someone who has recently married, bought a house and had a kid, is it worth it to get someone to do your taxes? and how much does that run?

note: I do not have a small business, am not self-employed, only donate about $50 a year to the girl scout cookie pushers in the neighborhood, no investment income. I am a very boring person.

I usually use turbo tax and just take the standard, but I wonder if a professional would be worth it.

I have done some googling and the number I run across is about $400 to have someone prepare your taxes. Does this sound about right? Somehow I don't think I will get my money back from a professional over software.

/working with the theory that if I pay someone $400 they had better find a way to get my return to be $400+ more than what I do myself.

If you have few and simple investments, and your income is from regular employment, then there's not a whole lot a professional accountant can do for you that Turbo Tax or a similar product can't.

If you do go to a professional, go to an actual accountant |(e.g. a CPA) , not a place like H&R Block. They generally just run the same software as you can buy off the shelf.


When you say "recently married", you were married in 2012? Your (and her) filing status is based on your marriage status on December 31. If you were married as of that date, you are considered "married" for the whole year. Same if you were single or divorced as of 12/31, you are considered "single" for the whole year.

If both you and your wife are straight W-2 earners and have a home mortgage deduction, it's probably not worth it to go professional as married homeowners with kids is a normal filing situation. Run married filing jointly and married filing separately to see which nets less tax. Likely, it'll be married filing jointly.

If you or she owns a business, then you might want to go to a pro as the Schedule C can be a biatch and the IRS targets Sch C filers.

Also, don't forget to adjust both you and your wife's W-4s to withhold at the married rate.
 
2013-01-18 06:47:24 PM
Correction: Tax policy favors homeowners.

The mortgage interest deduction is insane. The only people who benefit from it are those who can afford to buy a home (and it probably encourages people on the bubble who cannot really afford to buy a home to do so, and accept a mortgage with a terrible APR). And all of us non-homeowners end up subsidizing it.

It makes much more sense to phase it out than make cuts to Medicare and Social Security to solve our budget problems.
 
2013-01-18 06:54:40 PM

thornhill: Correction: Tax policy favors homeowners.

The mortgage interest deduction is insane. The only people who benefit from it are those who can afford to buy a home (and it probably encourages people on the bubble who cannot really afford to buy a home to do so, and accept a mortgage with a terrible APR). And all of us non-homeowners end up subsidizing it.

It makes much more sense to phase it out than make cuts to Medicare and Social Security to solve our budget problems.


Don't you mean spending less? Ask a bankruptcy lawyer how you get out of debt. It works biatches.
 
2013-01-18 06:57:56 PM

dletter: Let me fix both headlines:

Tax policies favor married people people rich enough to hire an accountant to dramatically lower their taxes


I hired an accountant last year, and am far from rich.  Even after her fees, she saved me $500 over what TurboTax was gonna give me.  The idea that an accountant is for just the rich, is factually incorrect.
 
2013-01-18 07:02:59 PM

Smeggy Smurf: thornhill: Correction: Tax policy favors homeowners.

The mortgage interest deduction is insane. The only people who benefit from it are those who can afford to buy a home (and it probably encourages people on the bubble who cannot really afford to buy a home to do so, and accept a mortgage with a terrible APR). And all of us non-homeowners end up subsidizing it.

It makes much more sense to phase it out than make cuts to Medicare and Social Security to solve our budget problems.

Don't you mean spending less? Ask a bankruptcy lawyer how you get out of debt. It works biatches.


That bankruptcy lawyer would also tell you to increase your revenue, such as getting a second job.
 
2013-01-18 07:11:17 PM
Good heavens, I hope so. Got married in August, hoping for a fat return.
 
2013-01-18 07:16:46 PM

treesloth: Good heavens, I hope so. Got married in August, hoping for a fat return.


Well, now that you and your spouse are no longer trying to stay fit for attracting mates...
 
2013-01-18 07:25:22 PM

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: treesloth: Good heavens, I hope so. Got married in August, hoping for a fat return.

Well, now that you and your spouse are no longer trying to stay fit for attracting mates...


Heh, yep, pretty much!

Well, I've actually lost weight, but more due to constant busyness (she had 3 kids already... yikes!) than good eating. But, once I learn to control all that, I'll start eating with a vengeance.

Or maybe I'll be smart and just keep it off, but really, what are the odds of me being smart? Come on...
 
2013-01-18 07:31:19 PM

utsagrad123: I hired an accountant last year, and am far from rich.  Even after her fees, she saved me $500 over what TurboTax was gonna give me.  The idea that an accountant is for just the rich, is factually incorrect.


Do you mind sharing where the extra money came from (additional deductions, were you overpaying on investment income, etc...)
 
2013-01-18 07:49:32 PM

Happy Hours: Rapmaster2000: I don't get this. What matters is the income of their partner. If it's "unemployed", then the tax advantages are greater.

And if it's not their taking a job away from a single person.


Single people are more entitled to jobs than married people?
 
2013-01-18 07:50:06 PM

quantum_csc: utsagrad123: I hired an accountant last year, and am far from rich.  Even after her fees, she saved me $500 over what TurboTax was gonna give me.  The idea that an accountant is for just the rich, is factually incorrect.

Do you mind sharing where the extra money came from (additional deductions, were you overpaying on investment income, etc...)


I had started freelancing in August of 2011.  So she was able to find a lot of things that I could claim as self-employment deductions.
 
2013-01-18 08:38:11 PM

thornhill: Correction: Tax policy favors homeowners.

The mortgage interest deduction is insane. The only people who benefit from it are those who can afford to buy a home (and it probably encourages people on the bubble who cannot really afford to buy a home to do so, and accept a mortgage with a terrible APR). And all of us non-homeowners end up subsidizing it.

It makes much more sense to phase it out than make cuts to Medicare and Social Security to solve our budget problems.



Tax policy favors homeowners with mortgages. If someone buys their home in cash or if someone has their mortgage paid off (or isn't paying enough interest to go over the standard deduction), they get screwed.

The government, through tax policy, encourages people to go into debt.
 
2013-01-18 09:27:53 PM

dustman81: thornhill: Correction: Tax policy favors homeowners.

The mortgage interest deduction is insane. The only people who benefit from it are those who can afford to buy a home (and it probably encourages people on the bubble who cannot really afford to buy a home to do so, and accept a mortgage with a terrible APR). And all of us non-homeowners end up subsidizing it.

It makes much more sense to phase it out than make cuts to Medicare and Social Security to solve our budget problems.


Tax policy favors homeowners with mortgages. If someone buys their home in cash or if someone has their mortgage paid off (or isn't paying enough interest to go over the standard deduction), they get screwed.

The government, through tax policy, encourages people to go into debt.


1) I doubt more than 0.25% of homeowners purchased their home outright. About 3% of Americans have household incomes greater than $200k; the median sale price for existing homes is $180k and new homes is $220k.

2) For the 33% of homeowners who own their home outright, they likely enjoyed decades of the mortgage interest deduction.

3) Going into debt is not necessarily a bad thing as it can provide opportunities not otherwise possible, where you'll end up making money in the long run. For example, few people can afford to pay for college outright; the difference between the lifetime income you'll earn from having a college degree vs only high school diploma will be greater than the interest.

The problem with a home loan is that there is no opportunity you're gaining from the loan. You also end up paying for the house twice over. Even if you sell the house for much more than you paid, when you take into account the interest, property tax and maintenance, the profit isn't going to be that impressive. In many cases you'd be better off investing the interest, property taxes and maitance costs rather than trying to reclaim them when you sell the house.
 
2013-01-18 09:30:16 PM

utsagrad123: dletter: Let me fix both headlines:

Tax policies favor married people people rich enough to hire an accountant to dramatically lower their taxes

I hired an accountant last year, and am far from rich.  Even after her fees, she saved me $500 over what TurboTax was gonna give me.  The idea that an accountant is for just the rich, is factually incorrect.


Rich people aren't using CPAs, they're using tax attorneys. They're the ones who are setting up shell companies overseas to help you pay nothing in taxes.
 
2013-01-18 10:42:10 PM

dustman81: thornhill: Correction: Tax policy favors homeowners.

The mortgage interest deduction is insane. The only people who benefit from it are those who can afford to buy a home (and it probably encourages people on the bubble who cannot really afford to buy a home to do so, and accept a mortgage with a terrible APR). And all of us non-homeowners end up subsidizing it.

It makes much more sense to phase it out than make cuts to Medicare and Social Security to solve our budget problems.


Tax policy favors homeowners with mortgages. If someone buys their home in cash or if someone has their mortgage paid off (or isn't paying enough interest to go over the standard deduction), they get screwed.

The government, through tax policy, encourages people to go into debt.


Well, to be fair, the overwhelming whopping majority of people buying a house are going to need a mortgage. So they aren't encouraging debt as much as they are encouraging home ownership.
 
2013-01-18 11:02:20 PM

thornhill: Correction: Tax policy favors homeowners.

The mortgage interest deduction is insane. The only people who benefit from it are those who can afford to buy a home (and it probably encourages people on the bubble who cannot really afford to buy a home to do so, and accept a mortgage with a terrible APR). And all of us non-homeowners end up subsidizing it.


Correction: Tax policy favors Realtors, Mortgage Lenders and Home Builders.

The additional 'affordability' of houses due to the mortgage tax credit increases demand and leads to higher prices due to the subsidy, canceling out most, if not all, of the benefit to the home buyer. The intended beneficiaries of the higher prices are the folks who build, sell and finance houses. There is some collateral benefit to people who bought/owned homes before the subsidy was introduced, but that is a one-time benefit that will only be realized if they sell their house and downsize.
 
2013-01-18 11:45:33 PM
I would really like to see what they consider a "tax benefit" of being married.

None are actually listed. they just made up numbers and threw them out.
 
2013-01-19 12:34:57 AM

Smeggy Smurf: thurstonxhowell: Fark_Guy_Rob: Single people have many, many, many financial advantages over married people.

Other than not having to pay for a ring or a wedding, what are the financial advantages?

Issues regarding estates come to mind. My sister in law just got married to a guy who's dying so none of the money will be lost to his scumbag relatives and thieving son. They were going to do it anyway next year but the cancer diagnosis pushed things up in a hurry.


Why not just make a will. Its a legal document so it has to be upheld.
 
2013-01-19 12:37:54 AM

Fark_Guy_Rob: Single people have many, many, many financial advantages over married people.


How many? many, many.
 
2013-01-19 01:07:16 AM

thornhill: Smeggy Smurf: thornhill: Correction: Tax policy favors homeowners.

The mortgage interest deduction is insane. The only people who benefit from it are those who can afford to buy a home (and it probably encourages people on the bubble who cannot really afford to buy a home to do so, and accept a mortgage with a terrible APR). And all of us non-homeowners end up subsidizing it.

It makes much more sense to phase it out than make cuts to Medicare and Social Security to solve our budget problems.

Don't you mean spending less? Ask a bankruptcy lawyer how you get out of debt. It works biatches.

That bankruptcy lawyer would also tell you to increase your revenue, such as getting a second job.


Mine didn't. It's not like I can easily get a second job anyway. You can't work a job as an architect and get a 2nd job doing shiat work. They won't hire you when they can get a kid right out of high school they can use and abuse at minimum wage.
 
2013-01-19 01:15:59 AM
My wife and I pay more than if we were single. Oh well. We'll live.
 
2013-01-19 01:21:55 AM

Smeggy Smurf: thornhill: Smeggy Smurf: thornhill: Correction: Tax policy favors homeowners.

The mortgage interest deduction is insane. The only people who benefit from it are those who can afford to buy a home (and it probably encourages people on the bubble who cannot really afford to buy a home to do so, and accept a mortgage with a terrible APR). And all of us non-homeowners end up subsidizing it.

It makes much more sense to phase it out than make cuts to Medicare and Social Security to solve our budget problems.

Don't you mean spending less? Ask a bankruptcy lawyer how you get out of debt. It works biatches.

That bankruptcy lawyer would also tell you to increase your revenue, such as getting a second job.

Mine didn't. It's not like I can easily get a second job anyway. You can't work a job as an architect and get a 2nd job doing shiat work. They won't hire you when they can get a kid right out of high school they can use and abuse at minimum wage.


I obviously cannot comment on your personal situation, but if my finances deteriorated to the point of bankruptcy, in addition to cost cutting I'd look for a second job, even if it was working as a telemarketer or bar tender for a few hours a week. Heck, I was unemployed for a while once; I had enough money saved up to get by, but I ended up painting a bunch of homes in my neighborhood so I'd have some kind of income stream.
 
2013-01-19 01:29:29 AM

dustman81: Tax policy favors homeowners with mortgages.


Tax policy favors people with large mortgages. We bought our home 14 years ago. We have only been able to benefit from the mortgage interest deduction twice. Those were the only times that our itemized deduction exceeded our standard deduction. I expect to use it again this year, but only because we have a fair amount of medical expenses to work with.
 
2013-01-19 08:00:52 AM

utsagrad123: quantum_csc: utsagrad123: I hired an accountant last year, and am far from rich.  Even after her fees, she saved me $500 over what TurboTax was gonna give me.  The idea that an accountant is for just the rich, is factually incorrect.

Do you mind sharing where the extra money came from (additional deductions, were you overpaying on investment income, etc...)

I had started freelancing in August of 2011.  So she was able to find a lot of things that I could claim as self-employment deductions.


Be careful, as freelancers are audited by the IRS at a very high rate.
 
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