The Atlantic, Tax the Patriarchy:
The Rube Goldberg mess of the United States tax code picks winners and losers as it raises trillions of dollars for the federal government. It advantages unearned income over earned income. It advantages big, mortgaged homes over little, rented apartments. It advantages the richest of the rich over the merely rich. And, in many cases, it advantages men over women.
That last claim is the contention of three new reports produced by the National Women’s Law Center and several other research and advocacy groups. They analyze the tax code through the lens of gender and conclude that many provisions reflect, amplify, and entrench long-standing disparities between men and women.
But it need not be so. The tax code has profound power to close the gender wage-and-wealth gap, as well as to support equality in the workplace and help families thrive at home. As the country debates taxing billionaires out of existence, it might consider taxing the patriarchy out of existence, too.
National Women's Law Center, Tax Justice Is Gender Justice: Advancing Gender and Racial Equity by
Harnessing the Power of the U.S. Tax Code:
The tax code sets the rules that shape our economy, reflecting and perpetuating notions of who and what our society values. It’s an opportunity to fight inequality. But today’s tax code contains outdated and often biased assumptions about family structures, marriage, participation in the paid workforce, and more that work together to perpetuate structural barriers against women, families with low incomes, and people of color. The tax code can be a barrier for realizing gender justice – but it can also be a tool. It’s time we take advantage.
Ariel Jurow Kleiman (San Diego), Amy Matsui (National Women’s Law Center) & Estelle Mitchell (National Women’s Law Center), The Faulty Foundations of the Tax Code: Gender and Racial Bias in Our Tax Law:
This report ... examines the outdated assumptions and gender and racial biases embedded in the U.S. tax code. It highlights tax code provisions that reflect and exacerbate gender disparities, with particular attention to those that disadvantage women with low incomes, women of color, members of the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, and immigrants.
- Examined policies include the joint filing of spousal income, treatment of informal caregiving, incentives for business formation and wealth accumulation, and IRS enforcement patterns.
- Although perhaps facially neutral, many of these policies likely provide disproportionate benefit to men, may heighten pressure for women to leave the formal labor market, and reflect biased assumptions about gender, race, and family structure.
- This report offers recommendations for better data and analysis so that policymakers, advocates, and the public can fully understand the impact of the current tax code and proposed tax policies.
Katy Milani (Roosevelt Institute), Melissa Boteach (National Women’s Law Center), Steph Sterling, (Roosevelt Institute) & Sarah Hassmer (National Women’s Law Center), Reckoning With the Hidden Rules of Gender in the Tax Code: How Low Taxes on Corporations and the Wealthy Impact Women’s Economic Opportunity and Security:
November 19, 2019 in Tax, Tax Scholarship, Think Tank Reports | Permalink
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