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Gird Your Loins. Marriage and Taxes.

Note to all readers: I am NOT giving out tax advice. You’ll need someone much smarter with numbers than me for that. Talk to your accountant.

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I am a word person. Always have been. You can play with them, re-order them, make them say all kinds of interesting and creative things. Numbers? Well, I only like them when they are really, really big, sitting in my checkbook not committed to anything in particular. Just waiting for me to log on to Zappos.com.

Husband is a numbers person. Taxes, financials, accounting. He does it all. He likes to order them, file them, basically beat them into submission. I do believe I have married the only man on the planet who gets positively giddy when the UPS man delivers the new year’s tax code book. Seriously. See this?

That’s Husband holding the tax code. He is smiling, he says, because this rather thick book is filled with all kinds of goodies about deductions.

When Husband first brought up marriage with me, he quickly backtracked saying we should just live together. It’d be cheaper, he announced. He’s right. Marriage has not been kind to our tax status. Recently, I came across an interesting article from the UK on how couples are wedding later in life. The line that got me was: The figures sparked, once again, a debate over whether married couples should enjoy tax breaks.

In the U.K., according to this article, it has been calculated that approximately 1.8 million low-earning couples are materially worse off than their single parent counterparts, losing on average £1,336 a year because they live together.

I made a huge mistake in mentioning this to Husband. (One thing you learn early in marriage is that timing is everything. You have to know when to bring up stuff.)

Mentioning this blog post, in development, gave him an excuse to rail about Congress, the current administration, the mounting national debt (or the national black hole), and how I still haven’t printed out some report form Quickbooks that he needs, like, yesterday.

But, this is not unusual. Every time tax time comes around, Husband grumbles about how much more money we’d make it we were just legally single and living together.

According to this year’s tax code, the marriage penalty starts, Husband says, somewhere between $86,000 and $137, 000 – jointly. Quite a spread. And, if we made the low end, well, we’d have to live with my mother. Forget being married.

The tax ramifications around marriage are different for every couple. So, just for grins, I googled.

* Marriage and Taxes from the Groom Grove (don’t ya just love that title)?

* Bad Tax Idea: Getting married without checking on the tax ramifications, by Profitable

* The Marriage Calculator: Financial Consequences of Marriage Decisions by the US Dept of Health & Human Services

* The Myth of the Marriage Penalty by Liz Pulliam Weston on MSN Money

* Getting Married by TurboTax

* UK Ladies For Marriage by Loveawake.com

* Marriage Penalty: I don’t think so by Living Single blogger Bella DePaulo, published by Psychology Today

Read it and weep.

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