GOP senators wrote Schumer a letter claiming reconciliation bill will 'effectively discourage marriage' by raising taxes on couples

Sens. The letter was signed by Senators.
The Earned Income Credit is a tax credit that helps families with low to moderate incomes get a tax break.

To qualify for the credit, spouses who do not have children must make less than $27.380.

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A group of Congressional Republicans, led by Arkansas Senator John Boozman, wrote a Thursday letter to Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives and Ron Wyden, Chairman of Senate Finance Committee. They were opposed to a reconciliation bill in the House of Representatives that they claimed would "effectively discourage marital relationships."

The group criticised a "marriage penalty", which was included in the current bill draft. This could prevent some low- or moderate-income families receiving an Earned income Tax Credit (EITC).

According to the Tax Policy Center, marriage penalties are when couples pay more taxes together than they would have if they filed individually.

The letter stated that encouraging marriage was not in the country's best interests and sent the wrong message to families. Federal policy should encourage strong marriages. They are the foundation for strong families and strong communities.

Senator John Boozman (@JohnBoozman) October 2, 2021

According to the Internal Revenue Service, EITC provides tax relief to low- and moderate-income workers as well as families. This could increase depending on how many dependents are eligible.

CNBC reported that the tax break under the American Rescue Plan (a $1.9 trillion package to aid the United States' recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic) was increased through 2021 to include more taxpayers who are not children.

Some couples may be subject to a penalty for marriage if there is a sudden income phaseout (a gradual decrease in a tax credit as the taxpayer's income approaches that limit).

CNBC reports that single filers can apply for the credit if there are no children and their earned income falls below $21,430. Spouses with children must have a combined income of less than $27380. CNBC stated that a single worker may marry someone who has a child, which could reduce the amount the spouse with the child could have received or eliminate the benefit entirely.

The letter was signed by 33 Republican senators including Mitt Romney and Susan Collins as well as Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio. It stated that the provision would "create bigger barriers for couples who want to get married."

President Joe Biden increased the 2021 child credit despite obstacles to eligibility for EITC. This credit has a high-income phaseout $150,000 married couples filing jointly. This could offset penalties marriage penalties, Eugene Steuerle of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center told CNBC.

This tool is provided by the IRS to determine if you are eligible for EITC.