Caren Grown and Hitomi Komatsu
This chapter explains the methodology that each country team used to investigate gender bias in personal and indirect taxes. It also synthesizes the findings across countries and puts them into perspective against other literature on tax incidence, especially in developing country economies.
The analysis of the personal income tax system examined several features of each national tax system, including whether the system is schedular or global; the rules for filing tax returns; the definition of taxable income and exemptions in each system; the rate structure applied to taxable income; the various tax preferences that reduce the tax base and lower taxable income; and how tax rates are adjusted for inflation.
Under a schedular income tax, each source of income, such as from wage employment or self-employment or capital gains faces a different schedule of tax rates. Under a global income tax system, income from various sources is aggregated and typically one schedule of tax rates is applied. Global income taxes often have schedular elements applying to income from certain sources, such as capital gains. Global income taxes may be subdivided into two main types based on whether taxpayers file joint returns or individual returns. Of the countries in this study, Argentina, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa and the United Kingdom have global tax systems (with schedular elements), while India, Ghana and Uganda have schedular systems. The filing unit in all countries is the individual taxpayer.
Stotsky (1997) has examined the presence of explicit and implicit gender biases in both systems. She notes that global income taxes have typically been the source of explicit gender bias through rules governing the allocation of shared non-labour or business income, the allocation of exemptions, deductions and other tax preferences, the setting of tax rates and the responsibility