50 years. That’s how long it took to get rid of the “marriage penalty” in our federal tax system. What’s even worst is that some people never even knew it existed. The marriage penalty arose if two married individuals, both earning income, paid more in taxes if they file with under “married filing jointly” than if they filed taxes separately under the “single” tax status. How is this possible? It’s because the income tax brackets from single status did not rise in proportion to the marriage filing jointly tax bracket.