Season 3, Episode 8: "Should I Get Married for Tax Purposes? My Boyfriend Swears We’d Save Money, but I’m Not So Sure..."

Season 3, Episode 8: “Should I Get Married for Tax Purposes? My Boyfriend Swears We’d Save Money, but I’m Not So Sure…”

Ah, taxes! Second only to gas prices in the list of things we Americans like to blame for our money woes. Also: hella romantic!

That’s right, Bitch Nation, for today on the podcast we’re discussing the intersection of love and taxes. Specifically, the question of whether you should get married for tax purposes.

Popular wisdom dictates that getting married and filing taxes jointly will give you a huge discount on your tax bill. We’ve heard worse reasons to get married. But is this one really true?

As usual, the answer is… it depends! On your circumstances, your income, your property ownership, and a whole host of other matters. We are by no means tax experts (though our marriage expertise is beyond reproach), but we’re going to do our best to shine a light on the question of getting married for tax purposes.

Here comes the bride!

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Auditing taxpayers is a "dying tradition."

My Taxes Are a Little, uh, Creative. What’s My Risk of Being Audited?

Enough time has probably passed for me to admit to playing fast and loose with the truth in some very old tax returns. But let’s drape this whole conversation in a veil of hypotheticality to preserve our modesty.

THIS ARTICLE DEALS IN HYPOTHETICALS, I SAY!

MY FAN FICTION NOVEL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ONE DIRECTION, I SAY! NOTHING!

As all liars will tell you when caught, I (hypothetically) had great reasons for lying. I was (hypothetically) a new graduate during the worst part of the Great Recession, cobbling together freelance jobs to afford a gruel made of boxed mac and cheese thinned with water and Goya packets. I was (hypothetically) hanging onto adult independence by my fingernails. And my fingernails were notoriously hypothetically thin and weak from my high-sodium gruel diet!

This was pretty much how my first tax return after college went…

KITTY:
I made $18,000 last year.

IRS:
Awesome, give us $3,000 of it.

KITTY:
That can’t be right.

IRS:
It is.

KITTY:
Wh— Bu— I live in one of the most expensive cities in America. I can barely pay rent and put food in my cupboards. The unemployment rate for young people is almost 20%, for fuck’s sake! Surely you wouldn’t charge a flat tax rate on someone so desperate?

IRS:
We totally would.

KITTY:
Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak.
Lay open to my earthly gross conceit,
smothered in errors, feeble, shallow, weak,
the folded meaning of your words’ deceit.
Against my soul’s pure truth why labour you
to make it wander in an unknown field?
Are you a god? Would you create me now?
Transform me, then, and to your power I’ll yield.
But if I am that I am, then well I know
I do not have three thousand dollars, bro,
Nor to your purse no homage do I owe.

IRS:
Ma’am, will that be check or money order?

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