Date of Defense

Summer 6-28-2003



First Advisor

Kathleen Sinning, Accountancy

Second Advisor

Ola Smith, Accountancy

Third Advisor

Kim Ballard, Writing Center


IRS, tax brackets


When two taxpayers marry, they are required under the Internal Revenue Code to file under one of two statuses: married filing jointly or married filing separately. Taxpayers are no longer permitted to file as two individuals. The marriage penalty is an unintended result of the tax code that causes two working spouses to pay more taxes than they would as two singles. That is, if the couple stayed single, the total taxes would be less than what they pay as a married couple. The marriage penalty comes about because certain provisions of the code are not always doubled for married couples. This paper explores the marriage penalty in detail and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, which provides some respite.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only