This article argues that taxation is political, and it makes sense that the battle over the changing face of the American family is being mediated, at least in part, through the tax code. The article first outlines the heteronormativity of the debate concerning the choice of the "appropriate" taxable unit, then illustrates how pervasive marital status is throughout the tax code, and contrasts them with the federal tax treatment of same-sex couples. The author argues that recent "pro-family" tax reform as prescriptive measures defines family as grounded in moral judgements informed by religion. The author urges tax scholars to use insights of queer theory to suggest a future "scholarship of articulation" where identity is at all times visible and multivalent.
This podcast, "Talking Tax," we hear from public policy researcher Donnie Charleston, who is with the group E Pluribus Unum, about how the tax system in America provides white taxpayers with benefits that people of color often don’t or can’t enjoy. Charleston speaks with Bloomberg Tax’s Yuri Nagano about how the racial history of real estate in the U.S. is still causing great inequality, through cumulative effects of redlining, property valuation, and more.