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Hartzler Introduces Legislation to Remove Marriage Penalty Tax Burden

May 13, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) introduced the Student Loan Marriage Penalty Elimination Act alongside Rep. John Garamendi (CA-03) which would allow all eligible taxpayers to claim the student loan interest deduction regardless of their marital status. Current law penalizes married couples by only allowing one deduction per tax return—even if both spouses qualify. This bill would stop this unfair tax on student loans against married couples while also helping individuals with their student loan debt burden.

“Our government should encourage marriage, not penalize those who tie the knot,” Hartzler said. “Fortunately, the Student Loan Marriage Penalty Elimination Act corrects this injustice and encourages the paying off of student loans. I thank Rep. Garamendi for his help in pushing this common-sense legislation forward, and I’m eager to work with my colleagues to ensure our students working toward financial stability do not face senseless marriage penalties.”

“The student debt crisis has exploded in America and caused extreme financial hardship for countless Americans and had a negative impact on our economy,” said Garamendi. “This is an issue I’ve fought hard to address during my time in Congress, and I’m pleased to support Rep. Hartzler’s commonsense legislation that would help married couples put more financial strength behind their efforts to pay down their student loan debt. No one should be punished in their effort to pay off their student loans because they are married. I will work hard with Rep. Hartzler to ensure this critical legislation becomes law to provide the relief from student loan debt that Americans deserve.”

The average student loan balance in America is over $25,500. The student loan interest deduction allows someone to deduct up to $2,500 in interest paid on their student loans from their taxable income. This deduction incentivizes paying off the debt and can allow middle-class taxpayers to see an additional $550 of their paychecks each year.

View the full bill here.