Marriage Tax Bill Goes to White House

The Republican-controlled House and Senate have reached agreement on a marriage tax relief bill that would provide a more fair income tax rate for married couples where both spouses work.

The bill changes the standard deduction for married couples to be twice the standard deduction for unmarred taxpayers, and this change would be retroactive to January 1, 2000.

In addition, the bill provides for a change in the tax brackets so that single or married, the tax on income is the same. This change would be phased in over a 10-year period.

The bill also raises the earned income credit income cap by $2,000 for lower-income married couples, thus making it easier for some taxpayers to claim this credit. And, couples who found they were unable to use the recently-enacted Child Care Credit due to a conflict with the Alternative Minimum Tax, will be relieved of that conflict if this bill is made into law.

President Clinton has stated his intention to veto this bill, and it appears that Congress does not have the votes necessary to override this veto. Barring any surprise from the White House, this bill will probably not become law at this time.

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