Intermediate Filing in Household Taxation

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Intermediate Filing in Household Taxation

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Title: Intermediate Filing in Household Taxation
Author: Smith, Henry Edward
Citation: Henry E. Smith, Intermediate Filing in Household Taxation, 72 S. Cal. L. Rev. 145 (1998).
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Abstract: This article explores an alternative filing system between joint and individual filing, here termed "intermediate filing." Under such a system, instead of allowing couples to "split" their income as joint filers or forcing them to file as individuals, intermediate filing presents couples with a choice of individual filing as a default or fractional splitting. The ratio of the split would govern both tax treatment and property division (broadly defined) on divorce. The article shows that such a system carries with it various advantages in terms of equity, efficiency, and simplicity. In particular, the article analyzes the impact of the choice of intermediate versus joint versus individual filing on the tax treatment of nonmarket labor and the process of marriage formation. The analysis of intermediate filing also leads to a thought experiment on the role that sharing plays in the taxation of married couples and of multiple-taxpayer groups more generally.
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