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KiplingerMay 24, 2019
15 States With a "Marriage Penalty" in Their Tax Brackets
Of course, you marry for love...but the financial benefits of marriage are nice, too. Whether you're a newlywed or you've reached your golden anniversary, there are a number of money-saving advantages to being married: spousal Social Security benefits, lower insurance rates and the ability to contribute to your spouse's retirement savings, to name a few. But when it comes to federal and state taxes, there's a tax-law twist that can actually cost a married couple money--it's called the "marriage penalty."

A marriage penalty exists when a couple filing a joint return pays more income tax than they would if they were single. In its most common form, the possibility of a marriage penalty is triggered when, for any given tax bracket, the minimum taxable income for joint filers is less than twice the amount for single filers. As a result, when you combine each spouse's income on a joint return, it can push some of that income into a higher tax bracket. This happens most often when the spouses' incomes are similar. For example, two taxpayers each with $100,000 of taxable income in Minnesota would be in the 7.85% tax bracket and pay a total of about $15,700 in state income taxes if filing individually. But as a couple, their combined taxable income of $200,000 pushes them into the state's 9.85% tax bracket, where their total Minnesota income taxes will be about $19,700--a penalty of $4,000 for filing jointly. (A marriage penalty can also be caused by other imbalances in the tax law, such as standard deductions, exemptions or credit phase-out thresholds for married couples that are less than twice the amount for single filers.)

The tax-bracket marriage penalty isn't a huge problem on the federal level anymore. Thanks to the 2017 tax-reform law, only the top federal income tax bracket (37% rate) contains the marriage-penalty trap. However, the marriage penalty is alive and well in several states. So, before you tie the knot or plan on moving to a new state,


The Motley FoolMay 24, 2019
Foot Locker Inc (FL) Q1 2019 Earnings Call Transcript
FL earnings call for the period ending May 4, 2019.

MarketWatch MarketPulseMay 24, 2019
Foot Locker shares plummet after lackluster second-quarter guidance
Foot Locker Inc. stock plummeted more than 16% in Friday trading after the athletic retailer missed on first-quarter profit and sales and gave a lackluster look forward. Calling the second quarter "just sort of not very exciting," Foot Locker Chief Executive Richard Johnson also said changes to merchandise plans would make the period even more dull. "So, the biggest shift in the second quarter is related to products that we now know are shifting out of the quarter," he said, according to a FactSet transcript. "It's a very normal course of business that we have puts and takes." But analysts at Baird reacted to the "disappointing setback" by removing their "Fresh Pick" rating from Foot Locker stock and cutting the price target to $62 from $77. Still, Baird rates Foot Locker stock outperform. "While highly disappointed by the FQ1 update/outlook, we still think Foot Locker is well positioned to benefit from an improving footwear cycle (especially as a key differentiated partner for Nike) allowing for continued strong comps and improving margin visibility over the next several quarters," the note said. Meanwhile, competing athletic retailer Hibbett Sports Inc. stock soared 22.4% after better-than-expected quarterly results. Hibbett shares have gained 69.5% for the year to date. Foot Locker stock is down 18% for the period. And the S&P 500 index is up 12.8% for 2019 so far.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


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