$tarrBuck Report for August 27, 2006: I guess it’s cheaper…I’ll have to keep him! Get me a justice of the peace!

August 27, 2006

$tarrBuck Report for August 27, 2006: I guess it’s cheaper…I’ll have to keep him! Get me a justice of the peace!

by R. M. Starr

Stacey and Richard are having another one of their kinder gentler /arguments/ discussions. At this rate, isn’t about time they got married?

Stacey: So how was the first day of medical school?

Richard: It’s going to be a long haul. Four years to the degree. Studying all day and all night. No income. Tuition and fees. I don’t see how we can keep it up. There’ll hardly be time to sleep, let alone sleep with you!

Stacey: Hey, it won’t be that bad. I’ve started as a junior associate at Dewey Cheatham and Howe LLP. I’m making six figures; we’ll get along. My sixteen hour days are as long as yours. If we’re not going to have time for sex, maybe we should get married.

Richard: It’s a little late now! You don’t need to make an honest man out of me.

Stacey: If you’re studying sixteen hours a day and exhausted the rest of the time, you’re useless as a boytoy. We’ll have to make you earn your keep in other ways.

Richard: What? What do you mean? You’re looking sneaky. What do you have in mind?

Stacey: Silly! When we get married you can be my tax deduction.

Richard: Tax deduction? Now you really have lost your mind. Everyone knows there’s a marriage tax. Taxes are more expensive for a married couple than for singles.

Stacey: You never did take tax law, did you? You’re half right. When two people with about the same income get married, their income tax goes up. But when their incomes are very different — one low, the other high — it works the other way round. With you earning nothing and me getting a lawyer’s salary, as my husband you can save me $800 a month in taxes. That’s state and Federal. It’s like you’re paying rent — or like the IRS is paying for our honeymoon.

Richard: But six years from now when I’m in practice — then the situation will be reversed. We’ll have to pay them for being married.

Stacey: Now you’ve got it.

Richard: So would it make sense to split up then?

Stacey: “Well you give me all your lovin’ and your turtledovin’
All your hugs and kisses and your money too.
You know you love me baby, still you tell me, baby
That some day, well, I’ll be blue.

Well that’ll be the day, when you say goodbye
That’ll be the day, when you make me cry
You say you’re gonna leave me, you know it’s a lie
Cause that’ll be the day that I die.”

Darling. Please don’t get any bright ideas. With the pre-nup I’ll write for us, you can’t afford to leave. Not in six years, not ever. Of course, you should consult your attorney before you sign it.

Richard and Stacey agree. They both wonder: How did he ever get along without her?

When does marriage make financial tax sense?
One low income, one high income. That’s the graduated income tax. Tax rates go up more than proportionately with income. As singles, the high income person has a high tax rate, the low income one, a low tax rate. Combined they come out lower than their average.

You can work it out on TurboTax. When two single people planning to marry have one low income and one high income between them. Then the Internal Revenue Service pays for the wedding.

(c) Copyright R. M. Starr 2006

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