singles tax penalty   

Single Moms pay a tax penalty called the

Monthly Household Singles Tax Penalty. $$$


Singles tax penalty has been shown to be real

in the U.S. Income Tax Code.


Very little is written about the monthly singles tax penalty.



Abbreviated Report w/ Example Data at: judgewyld.com/singlestaxpenaltydata.htm



This paper examines the additional tax burden that singles pay to maintain the same household versus the tax burden on each person of a two wage earner household.  The disproportionate tax burden does not bring additional services or value to the household of the single payer.

This paper examines an often overlooked tax myth and lifestyle myth.  The United States tax code has been used to gather up funds to spend for constitutionally mandated government services. The United States tax code has also been abused to confiscate additional money from groups who have lesser numbers of voters to give to those groups who have larger numbers of voters.  Myths have been encouraged by politicians and their supporters to carryout the redistribution of money from one group to the others.  The most innocent sounding rationale for redistributing wealth is the political brochure and speech catch term 'family values'.  'Family values' generally requires sweeping up singles' wages to pay for services for 'families'.

[The tax collection data that this paper is based on does not consider the additional tax burden on singles due to subsidizing children through the tax code write-offs or through spending public funds for children's services (education) with funds collected from people without children.  There is an opportunity for future tax and spend schemes to correct a double injustice; 1.  The tax code collects less money from those who have children.  2. The government spends money collected from people who don't have children on services for those who have children.]

The monthly household taxes referred to in this paper includes taxes, fees, surcharges, hedges, and assessments that must be paid as part of the normal quality of life experienced within a typical middle class household regardless of the number of wage earners.  Income taxes are not considered in this definition. 


Documentation of analyses of the income tax have been performed and published.  Those studies are available on the public internet.  The marriage tax penalty as defined within the income tax tables has been debunked.  The studies show that there is in fact a prevailing singles tax penalty defined in the income tax tables. The studies show that a fairer tax collection system can be based on taxes per wage earner versus taxes per household.

What does not seem to be available on the public internet is a study of the total singles tax penalty.  The Fairtax concepts focus on only one area of a three area issue.  The Fairtax only addresses the income tax by replacing it with a sales/consumption tax.  The Fairtax also complicates itself by providing an open aspect of social and tax abuse called a rebate check.  This paper's author has experienced Fairtax Think Tank members who categorically stiff-arm the tax issues of singles.


A single mom or dad, a single man or woman without children, of any adult age, who lives in a middle class house or apartment and able to purchase the services representing the usual lifestyle of those living in a safe neighborhood in a safe structure equal to the quality of life enjoyed by the two wage earner households in the neighborhood, pays approximately two hundred dollars ($200) more a month in 'taxes' (not including the singles income tax penalty) than each of the two wage earners of a two wage earner household in the same neighborhood.

That is a $200 singles tax penalty on top of the singles income tax penalty and in addition to the penalty of the expenditures of singles money collected and spent by the government on other people's children.

The listed expenditures of taxes are provided for consideration.  The total cost for the list below is $400 monthly, hence the tax penalty is $200.  Although one or two of the items are debatable, the principle and the approximate tax penalty is still valid.  The list is from the actual set of monthly bills of a middle income, middle-America neighborhood.  The national average may be higher and certain areas of the country may have additional taxes which are much higher.


House Property Tax


Parked Car or Truck

Property Tax

Registration Tax Flat rate

DMV Modernization Tax  Flat rate

County Miscellaneous Tax Flat Rate


Water Tax

Meter Base Charge

State Water Plan

Base Sewer Charge

Storm water Fee

Actual water minimum

Sewer Consumption Charge


Electric Company

Customer Charge

Transmission Charge

Environmental Charge

Franchise Fee


Cell Phone

Cell Company Surcharges

State 911 Tax

State Regulatory Fees

State Sales Tax

County Sales Tax

Federal Univ Service Access Non-Long Distance

State Univ Service Assessment

Administrative Charge

Regulatory Charge


Home Telephone Taxes

Federal Subscriber Line Charge

Special 911 Tax

Federal Univ Service Fee

State Univ Service Fee

Special Municipal Charge

Federal Tax (local)

State and Local Tax (local)

Long Distance Minimum Usage Fee

Long Distance Other Taxes


Landfill Tax


House Gas Tax

Gas Service Charge

Gas Delivery Charge

Gas System Reliability Surcharge

Gas Hedge

Franchise Fee

County Tax


Cable TV


Franchise Fee

Sales Tax


Road Tolls


Everyone should easily agree that a single must be allowed to purchase and enjoy the same quality of life that other adults enjoy in the same neighborhood without having to pay more taxes per person to enjoy that quality of life.

Therefore, at the end of the month, when the monthly tax bills are paid as listed in the monthly service bills, each adult should pay the same for services received.  When the two wage earner household pays their monthly tax bill, they share the cost of the tax.  The tax per person is half of the household monthly tax bill.  The single pays double of the household taxes that a member of a two wage earner household pays.

Here is an interesting analogy to current singles tax penalty built in to the taxes per household approach.  The current per household tax system is like having a movie theatre play a movie and charge one fee for couples and charge that same fee for singles.  All three people enjoyed the movie but the single person paid twice as much as each of the other two people.  The single person could avoid paying for the movie, of course, by just not going to the movies. 

So how much is the monthly household tax? The above listed taxes (excluding the house property tax) is $170.  A yearly house property tax of $2000 is divided by 12 months and added to the other monthly taxes resulting in close to $400 dollars.  That is approximately $400 dollars a month that two wager earners share or is paid entirely by the single in a single household.  To make it clear, each wage earner in a two wage earner household has a $200 monthly household tax burden.  The single in the same neighborhood with the same standard of living pays $400 dollars in monthly household taxes.  That is a $200 dollar monthly singles tax penalty.  ($2,400 yearly)



For those politicians who jump on the bandwagon of the dubious income tax marriage penalty, they should consider the total taxes paid per person that includes the monthly household tax inequity against singles.

The Fairtax people need to consider that not all consumption sales are individual sales. A sale of a house to a couple versus the sale of that same house to a single will not result in a fair tax for the single individual.  If the idea of the Fairtax is to provide a sales tax that taxes individual consumption to make taxes fair across individuals then the couple is not paying the full taxes for two people consuming the house. On the flip side, if each person of the couple is indeed paying the full individual consumption tax for the purchase of the house, then a single person buying the same house is paying twice the recognized fair individual consumption tax.

All costs of living incurred by singles similar to two wage earner households can not be normalized to per person levels, however, there are some tax burden measures that can be considered to provide a fair shake to singles.  Piling taxes on to singles is first pushed back on by the Seniors through compassionate advocates and seniors' organizations, but why should it have to come to that?  Don't Democrat and Republican politicians and their fiscal policy Think Tanks represent the singles of all ages?

Before any tax solution can be called a Fairtax or called a marriage tax penalty correction, the singles total tax liability must be considered and factored into the big equations.  In addition, spending the singles tax money on non-singles causes must be examined against ethical standards.  Family values is a crutch that some politicians manipulate to get votes and is not a desired value if it takes from singles to subsidize families vacations, jet skis, and college education.  Taking from one group to give to another based on a politician's district demographics is not a Conservative Value but is a Liberal Cause.  


Let's set aside the following arguments to save the author some email response time:

Claim: Singles use less electricity and water and other household services so they pay less taxes.

Common Sense Response: The singles monthly household tax penalty is based on fixed fees and assessments.  Some of the fixed fees are based on minimal usage charges. If the singles household uses less services than the minimal threshold, they are still charged a minimal fee.  One example is water usage. A single with an inground water well for watering the lawn may not use the minimal amount of water usage for showers, toilet, and cooking but will be charged as if they used up to the minimum.


Claim:  People with children need space, i.e. a bigger house.

Common Sense Response: Three bedrooms for families with less than 7 children.  Parents' room, boys room, girls room.  Time limits on bathroom usage.  One pet.  Since there is a judgment on what singles need in quality of living, then this common sense judgment is appropriate as well.


Claim: A stay at home mom doesn't bring in money. So they are paying the full income tax from a single income just like a 'single' is doing.

Common Sense Response: a)  The income that the stay at home mom earns is half of their working spouse is brining in.  They are both workers, both adults, and accept that the stay at home person's income is half of the worker's income.  b) The stay at home spouse is enjoying all of the services; TV, home heating, electricity, water, telephone, car, sewer.  The working spouse is paying the $200 household taxes for the work that the stay at home spouse is doing in the house.


Claim: Two wage earner households have additional expenses since they have children.

Common Sense Response:  a) Singles with children are bearing the cost alone and still have a singles monthly household tax penalty.  b) children tax subsidies are a separate issue from the singles monthly household tax penalty.  Children tax subsidies for people above the poverty level does not get spent for necessities for the basics of food, clothes, and minimal shelter.


Claim: The piling on of singles tax penalty in income tax, singles tax penalty on monthly household taxes, children income tax subsidy for any income level, and spending public funds collected from singles to pay for child services (education), is all ok since children are our future and they are an investment.

Common Sense Response:  Children are not an investment. Children are a joy for their parent's.  Children are companions for their parent's. Children are a choice made by the parents and that choice is their responsibility.  The children will volunteer when they are older to take care of their parents and that is the return on the parents' investment. For society, when the children contribute to society, society will pay them for their services according to the services value.  There will be no return on investment, but will be a payment for services rendered.


Claim:  a) The institution of marriage is under attack and the stability of the country is dependent on non-married people to be taxed extra as an incentive to find someone to marry.  b) The institution of marriage must be given incentives to provide good homes for raising children.

Common Sense Response:  a) Singles who shack up, (live together without getting married), enjoy avoiding the same singles monthly household tax penalty as those who are married.  Encouraging singles to marry hastily as encouraged by incentives is worse for the institution of marriage.  b) Similar to a), a marriage brought together by financial incentives is likely not a good home for raising children.