- Senators Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Marco Rubio were among the group that signed the letter.
- The Working Income Tax Credit helps low to middle income families get tax relief.
- Spouses without children filing taxes together must earn less than $ 27,380 to be eligible for the credit.
A cohort of Congressional Republicans led by Arkansas Senator John Boozman wrote a letter Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden on Thursday oppose a measure included in the House of Representatives’ reconciliation bill that they say “would effectively discourage the wedding “.
The group criticized a “marriage penalty” in the current bill that could disqualify some low and moderate income families from receiving an earned income tax credit (EITC).
Couples incur marriage penalties when the taxes they jointly pay exceed what they would have paid had they remained single and declared as individuals, according to the Center for Fiscal Policy.
“Discouraging marriage is not in the interest of our country and sends the wrong message to our families”, the letter said. “Federal policy should be designed to foster strong marriages, which are the foundation of strong families and communities. “
—Senator John Boozman (@JohnBoozman) October 2, 2021
The EITC helps low to moderate income workers and families get tax relief, which could increase depending on the number of eligible dependents, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
As part of the US bailout, a $ 1.9 trillion program that has helped the US recover amid the COVID-19 pandemic, tax relief has been stepped up through 2021 to cover more taxpayers without children, CNBC reported.
However, a phase-out of income, a phase-out of a tax credit as a taxpayer’s income approaches the upper limit to qualify for that credit, may cause some couples to incur a marriage penalty.
Single filers are eligible for the credit if they have no children and their earned income is less than $ 21,430, while spouses without children filing together must earn less than $ 27,380. according to CNBC. In addition, a single worker without children can marry someone with a child, completely eliminating the allowance or reducing what the spouse with child could have received had he remained single, CNBC said.
33 Republican senators, including Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio, co-signed the letter, who said the provision “would create greater obstacles for couples to marry.”
Despite the hurdles to qualify for the EITC, President Joe Biden improved the 2021 Child Tax Credit, which has a high income phase-out – $ 150,000 for married couples filing jointly – which could offsetting marriage penalties for some families, Eugene Steuerle, co-founder of the Urban-Brookings Center for Tax Policy, told CNBC.
To see if you are eligible for the EITC, use this tool provided by the IRS.