|Surveying Members of Congress
Members of Congress have never been surveyed about their attitudes on the
issue of unfair taxation of unmarried and single Americans. No one had taken the time to
ask before. Well, that is about to change.
A short questionnaire, entitled "Federal Taxation of Unmarried Americans: 2001
Congressional Survey," is being mailed by AASP to every U.S. Senator and
Representative, along with a copy of this newsletter. (A copy of the questionnaire appears
on page 7.)
We are also asking our members to send their own copy of the questionnaire to
their member of Congress and to the two senators representing their state. If our elected
officials hear from their constituents, maybe they will respond and share their views on
We dont claim to have all of the answers on how to end unfair
taxation of unmarried Americans, and we are not lobbying for any specific legislation, but
we do think that the concerns of single people should be discussed in Congress.
We will report on our findings after we return from our trip to Washington. We will
include the results on our website, issue a press release over PR Newswire, and include a
story in our June newsletter.
Are You a Head of Household?
You may think you are the head of your
household and factually that may be true when it comes to the financial burden you
have assumed to support household members. But the IRS may disagree. Why? Because your
relationship with other household members is not one the federal government considers
In California alone, more than 240,000 taxpayers received audit letters
last year, challenging their status as head of household. A change from this category, to
that of "single taxpayer" could cost thousands of dollars.
Only "qualifying individuals" who live with you can legally
make you a "head of household." People not related to you by blood or marriage,
or even "distant" blood relatives, dont qualify, even though they live
with you and you provide more than half of their support.
Your domestic partner, your partners biological child, your cousin, or even your
own foster child who is over 18, wont qualify. Doesnt your "working
family" count? Apparently some families count more than others.
|Traveling to the Nations Capitol
We are headed for Washington on a fact finding mission, determined to find
out what our nations leaders think about the unfair taxation of unmarried Americans.
Thomas F. Coleman, executive director, and Stephanie Knapik, public affairs director,
will arrive in the Capitol on April 30, 2001, and will spend the entire week asking
questions and searching for information.
We plan to meet with senators, representatives, and their staff members. We also will
try to connect with leaders of both major political parties.
This is an historic event in the singles rights movement. It is the first time that a
national organization for single people has sent representatives to Washington to meet
with our elected representatives.
We are not going to the Capitol to lobby for any specific piece of legislation. But we
are concerned that the political conversation in this session of Congress, much as it has
been for several years, is focusing almost entirely on the concerns of married couples and
What about the concerns of the 80 million unmarried adults in the nation? Why are so
many of us excluded from the debate?
We want to hear from members of Congress whether they feel that all Americans should be
treated fairly when it comes to the income tax, the death tax, and the social security
tax, or whether they feel that unmarried Americans should have to pay more than our fair
Senators and Representatives may never have given much thought to the issue of marital
status discrimination in the tax codes, other than to trip all over themselves as they try
to fix the so-called "marriage penalty" in the income tax law. The media fanned
the political flames so much on this issue that the truth has been obscured. In fact,
there are more couples who gain a "marriage bonus" from filing joint returns
than couples who suffer a penalty.
politics as in life, it is the squeaky wheel that gets oiled. Married people dont
have to speak up too loudly since the overwhelming majority of those in Congress are
married. But unmarried and single Americans have been silent, watching from the sidelines
as decisions about our lives are made by elected officials.
Times are changing. We are asking questions and we want some
honest answers. Look to our website in May and to our June newsletter for the results of