Taxes Have Political Correctness Issues

taxes and political correctness

In the spirit of political correctness, the IRS long ago did away with the old designations of “husband” and “wife” on individual tax returns, and replaced them with “taxpayer” and “spouse.” The result of this change has led to many headaches for tax practitioners.

It seems that every tax season, inevitably one client will come in to my office and the wife will have it in her craw that she shall be reported as the “taxpayer”; her husband should be “spouse.” Sometimes this demand comes with a reason, something like, “I made more money this year so I am the taxpayer.” Or often the wife (or spouse) is just upse


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6 Responses to Taxes Have Political Correctness Issues

  1. adam says:

    Interesting. Don’t think this matters to me or my wife, but I know some people I’m sure would throw a fit if they couldn’t get their way.

  2. Morfydd says:

    What an odd post. I’m on my sixth year working for the Big Green tax company, and this has never been a big deal. If they’ve been in before, they’re tracked in OUR system by the “taxpayer’s” SSN, so that’s how we file this year. If they’re new to us I give them the choice, and it’s never particularly drama-filled. Frequently her tax info is more complicated so it makes more sense in their head to make her taxpayer.

    Only if the marriage has serious other issues is it ever anything but a few seconds’ chat and a decision with a grin.

    I’ve never had the IRS complain about the order being reversed.

    This: ‘Unfortunately, try as they might, the IRS is not set up to allow married women to start taking the top line as “taxpayer.

  3. FooBar says:

    > Sorry equality under the law == “PC

  4. Ian says:

    Another example of the strange posts this site has been producing…

  5. snelcamp says:

    I thought this was very interesting and informative. I for one appreciate the diversity of subjects covered on this website. Something for everyone. That’s why I continue to enjoy it.

  6. Teri says:

    Oh – thanks. Glad someone enjoyed.

    You know this topic comes up every so often in the professional crowd and sometimes amusing. Maybe this is more of an issue for our particular type of client because really truly it does come up and creates issues, and is discussed around the water cooler.

    But I just had to say I am all for equality of the law. Just annoyed when the law makes a bad attempt at equality. Simply changing a couple of words on a tax return doesn’t do it for me.

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