In Part 3 of this series, we explore why joint tax returns were so common even after major tax-law changes in 1917.
In the beginning, in 1913, there were no filing statuses. There was just one tax bracket that applied to all taxpayers.
The tax brackets stop at $0 of taxable income — having taxable income below $0 doesn’t mean your tax liability is a negative number or that the government “pays you more money.”
This blog post shows examples of the marriage penalty, which came about in 1971.
In the history of marriage in the tax code, reforms in 1948 eliminated disparity between married couples in common-law vs. community property states, but opened up new inequalities, this time between married and single people.