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The tax treatment of the family

Sita Slavov and Aspen Gorry

AEI Economic Perspectives, 2013

Abstract: In two recent cases, the US Supreme Court considered constitutional challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act - which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriage - and to California's Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Regardless of the outcomes of these two cases, the controversy over same-sex marriage highlights an important tax policy question: should the US tax code treat people as families, as it currently does, or as individuals? This paper considers the costs and benefits of switching to a tax system based on individual, rather than family, income.

Keywords: tax reform; Income inequality; Gay marriage; tax code; AEI Economic Perspectives; defense of marriage act; Policy Papers (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:aei:journl:y:2013:id:7018