Taxing Men and Women: new report on gender and tax justice

   0   2 Blog, Human Rights

xHot on the heels of our announcment earlier this week of the launch of Women for Tax Justice,  Christian Aid have now published a report  titled Taxing Men and Women: why gender is crucial for a fair tax system.  This report is very welcome since there is a dearth of research on how different tax systems around the world impact men and women, either through direct taxes or indirect taxes.  As Christian Aid notes:

A gender analysis of public expenditure has been a crucial tool for gender equality advocates to hold governments accountable. The gender implications of revenue raising, the other side of fiscal policy, have received less attention. This is probably due to the difficulties in retrieving data to support an understanding of the gender impact of revenue raising. While the majority of women in developing countries do not pay income tax, it is also challenging to establish the gender impact of indirect taxes because data on income and expenditure are collected at household level and are difficult to compare across countries.

Even in developed countries, where a larger proportion of women are engaged in paid employment for much of their adult lives, they may still face discriminatory tax policies that fail to take account of gender specific issues.  As Christian Aid points out:

Direct taxes impact women differently from men because women largely earn less, tend to enter and exit the labour market at different stages of their life, and provide unpaid labour and care at home, in family businesses and in the community. The issue of unpaid care is a huge one, which goes beyond tax policy and is indeed crucial for the socio-economic system as a whole. Because of their gendered roles in society, women disproportionately bear the burden of unpaid care. This affects their capacity to participate in paid employment, pay taxes and benefit from social security provisions and public services afforded through the tax system.

These issues need thorough research at country level, and we are greatly heartened that in publishing their report Christian Aid are contributing to the opening up of a crucial area for tax justice research, advocacy and campaigning in all countries (we have only made occasional contributions, but that will steadily change.)  Here are CA’s recommendations for how civil society, governments and revenue authorities can contribute to engaging on this issue:

For civil society organisations working on tax justice:

•   Include gender analysis at all levels in research, policy formation and advocacy for tax justice.

•   Seek to work in alliance with women’s rights organisations, budget monitoring groups and others working to ensure a fair allocation of government’s resources, from raising to expenditure.

•   Advocate for gender dynamics around unpaid care to be considered in fiscal policy.

For governments:

   Assess fiscal policy from a gender equality perspective.

   Assess the gendered impact of indirect taxes,including considering whether incomes and quality of life can be better sustained by expenditure rather than exemptions.

   Consider how fiscal policy affects gender dynamics around unpaid care from a gender equality perspective.

For revenue authorities in developing countries:

   Set up systems to file taxpayers’ data disaggregated by sex and age.

   Cooperate with unions and other organisations representing women working in the informal sector to improve tax collection, including simplification of taxes levied and fair assessment of capacity to pay.

•   Invest in capacity building and awareness raising for tax officials on gender issues and improve customer-service relationships.

Read the full Christian Aid report here.

 


Related Posts

New research on key role major economies play in global tax avoidance

offshore-network_colorcorrectedAn important new study on Offshore Financial Centres (OFCs) from the University of Amsterdam has made some fascinating discoveries, challenging, as the Financial Secrecy Index has, the popular misconception that tax havens are only palm fringed little islands and exposing that in fact major economies play a key role in global tax avoidance. Specifically they’ve […]

READ MORE →

Launch of international research collaboration, #AltAusterity

alt austerityToday is the launch of #AltAusterity, a new, international research collaboration of which Tax Justice Network is a partner.  The project aims to stimulate public debate on the subject of austerity though high quality research. It is a response to the lack of evidence which has underpinned the current policy agenda on austerity. The project […]

READ MORE →

RB tax avoidance – company calls for public country by country reporting after Oxfam report reveals profit shifting

pictureOxfam has today released a report on tax dodging by RB, the company formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser and the maker of thousands of well known household products. The report looks at the 2012 restructuring of the company which saw it set up ‘hubs’ in the Netherlands, Dubai and Singapore, all well known corporate tax […]

READ MORE →

Half measures mean Mauritius will continue to be a tax haven for the developing world

MauritiusThere was news this week that Mauritius has signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI). This is an initiative from the OECD to allow countries to take measures designed to stop tax avoidance by multinational companies and put them into their existing network of […]

READ MORE →

G20: Pressure rising on tax haven USA

HamburgWhilst the eyes of the world focused on the isolation of the US from the ‘G19’ position on climate change, something remarkable played out elsewhere in the process. Following closely the common EU position that we highlighted a few days ago, the G20 communique devotes important space to tax justice. It’s so good we quote […]

READ MORE →

About The Author

John Christensen

Trained as a forensic auditor and economist, he has worked in many countries around the world, including a period of working in offshore financial services with Touche Ross & Co. For 11 years he was economic adviser to the government of the British Channel Island of Jersey. In 2003 he became what the Guardian has described as “the unlikely figurehead of a worldwide campaign against tax avoidance.” His research on offshore finance has been widely published in books and academic journals, and John has taken part in many films, television documentaries and radio programmes.
View all posts by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top