split income

Congress, in 1948, enacted new joint tax return legislation and a new set of rates to remove the considerable disparity between tax treatment of married couples in community property and common-law states, and thereby to remove the considerable pressure on the common-law states to adopt community-property systems. By law enacted that year, married couples in all states were given the privilege to split their income, that is to have it taxed on a joint return at a rate equal to that which would apply if each had earned one-half the amount and were taxed on a separate return. In 1969, however, Congress retained but reduced the disparity between rates imposed on single persons and married couples with the same incomes. This reduction took the form of a new and lower rate schedule for single persons, which took effect beginning in 1971.
See I.R.C. No. l(c).
See also gift splitting election

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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