Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries

Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries

Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries

Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries

Synopsis

Around the world, there are concerns that many tax codes are biased against women, and that contemporary tax reforms tend to increase the incidence of taxation on the poorest women while failing to generate enough revenue to fund the programs needed to improve these women's lives. Because taxes are the key source of revenue governments themselves raise, understanding the nature and composition of taxation and current tax reform efforts is key to reducing poverty, providing sufficient revenue for public expenditure, and achieving social justice.

This is the first book to systematically examine gender and taxation within and across countries at different levels of development. It presents original research on the gender dimensions of personal income taxes, and value-added, excise, and fuel taxes in Argentina, Ghana, India, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Uganda and the United Kingdom. This book will be of interest to postgraduates and researchers studying Public Finance, International Economics, Development Studies, Gender Studies, and International Relations, among other disciplines.

Excerpt

Caren Grown

Governments everywhere grapple with the problem of generating enough resources to reduce poverty and fund essential public services. Fiscal policy, including taxation, is at the heart of the debate on which services government should provide and who should pay for them, including the share paid by men and women as consumers, workers, and employers. the global financial crisis of 2008–09 has thrown millions of people into poverty worldwide, highlighting the need for stronger, more equitable and efficient tax systems that can ensure a stable flow of public services, even during periods of downturn.

Over the decades, many countries have embarked on extensive reforms of their tax systems, with some achieving lasting improvements and others managing only short-term or transitional improvements that are gradually undone. Since the 1990s, several trends have been seen worldwide. These include reforms to personal income tax systems to broaden their bases and reduce the highest marginal tax rates, reduction of the highest corporate income tax rates, increasing reliance on broadbased value-added taxes (VATs), and reduced reliance on trade taxes through a flattening of the tax structure and removal of discrimination against imported goods in both indirect and trade taxes (Bahl and Bird 2008). Countries have sought to make up revenue losses from declining trade taxes, in particular, through a shift to indirect taxes, especially the vat. More than 125 countries now have some form of a vat, and it is the mainstay of revenue systems in much of the world (Bird 2005).

One of the cornerstones of tax policy, and central to tax reform efforts, is the issue of equity, along with issues of efficiency and ease of administration. a key challenge facing developing countries is to be able to generate sufficient public resources in a way that does not place an undue burden on the poor and marginalized. Since women are particularly vulnerable to poverty, systematic and robust assessments of the manner in which developing countries are attempting to increase their revenue pool and the impact of this on poor women are urgently needed.

To date, however, neither the tax literature nor public debates have adequately addressed how gender-based differences in behaviour affect tax equity considerations and outcomes. For example, an assessment of the effect of consumption . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.