To Work, or Not to Work? The Immortal Tax Disincentives for Married Women

28 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2009 Last revised: 27 Jul 2013

Margaret Ryznar

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Date Written: August 6, 2009

Abstract

Among the most fundamental barriers to the aggressive participation of many married women in the work force are the disincentives for secondary income earners embedded in the federal tax code. Specifically, the current code contains a marriage penalty, which is aggravated by the progressive nature of taxation and any potential increases in income taxation. Meanwhile, child care expenses, a prerequisite for entry to the labor market, are treated inadequately. Although these immortal problems persist despite political pushes for relief, new attention to this topic is warranted given the Obama Administration’s pledge for tax law reform. If the principle to be prioritized is that married women should not face tax disincentives to pursue paid work, then the tax code must finally deal with these issues effectively.

Keywords: federal income taxation, tax, marriage penalty, marriage bonus, family law

Suggested Citation

Ryznar, Margaret, To Work, or Not to Work? The Immortal Tax Disincentives for Married Women (August 6, 2009). Lewis & Clark Law Review, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 921-947, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1445134

Margaret Ryznar (Contact Author)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

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