In order to promote both equality and efficiency, this Comment proposes that individuals should have the opportunity to file jointly for tax and bankruptcy purposes when they have a relationship predicated upon economic interdependence, as opposed to basing the opportunity to file jointly upon marital status. Part I of this Comment will briefly discuss the history of marriage in the United States. In particular, Part I will discuss the role that the government has had in promoting and regulating marriage and how the treatment of married persons operates to the exclusion of the unmarried. Parts II and III of this Comment will provide a history of the joint income tax and joint bankruptcy petition. In Parts IV(A) and IV(B), this Comment will evaluate and critique both the benefits and drawbacks of allowing individuals to file jointly for tax and bankruptcy purposes, and discuss the implications of joint filing. In Part V(A), this Comment will analyze and critique the relevance of the current system, and will conclude that both the Bankruptcy Code and the Internal Revenue Code must be modernized in order to reflect the changing demographics of the American household. In Parts V(B) and V(C), this Comment will present the reader with two alternative options for modernization: a strictly individual or modified individual system or allowance of a unit based on presumed economic interdependence. Ultimately, this Comment will conclude that a unit based on presumed economic interdependence would achieve the most equitable result.
Recommended CitationHeather V. Graham, Moving Beyond Marriage: A Proposed Unit of Presumed Economic Interdependence for Joint Filing Purposes in Bankruptcy and in Tax, 34 Pace L. Rev. 419 (2014)
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol34/iss1/9