The latest attempt at passing marriage tax penalty relief bill was approved by the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday, under the leadership of Senator William Roth. The bill offers a complete restructuring of the standard deduction and the tax brackets so that married taxpayers pay taxes as if they are two single taxpayers. The bill is expected to land on the Senate floor in July.
President Clinton has indicated a willingness to sign such a measure, but only if a Medicare prescription drug bill is incorporated into the plan. Republicans, interested in addressing the prescription drug legislation separately, are hoping to push through a more family-oriented bill, which includes the marriage penalty relief along with measures to increase the limit for couples claiming the earned income credit, and provide protection for families whose personal credits are getting ensnared by the Alternative Minimum Tax.
The marriage tax relief bill, if passed, would save married taxpayers approximately $248 billion in taxes over the next 10 years.