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Accounting for the Family: The treatment of marriage and children in European income tax systems

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Author Info

  • Cathal O’Donoghue
  • Holly Sutherland

Abstract

In some countries family status has little or no impact on the amount of tax that an individual pays. In others the income tax system plays a major role in the redistribution of income among families of different types. This paper examines the treatment of the family in European tax systems. It surveys the various instruments which are used to take account of marriage and the presence of children and describes the current systems in the 15 European Union countries. Tax systems are expected to achieve many things, and the paper discusses the tradeoffs involved in attempting to reconcile conflicting aims, with a particular focus on the impact of the various approaches on the welfare of children.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in its series Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series with number iopeps98/25.

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Length: 54
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucf:iopeps:iopeps98/25

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Related research

Keywords: family income; income distribution; income redistribution; tax systems;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alain Trannoy & Patrick Moyes, 1999. "Le quotient familial : une structure fiscale cohérente avec le critère de Lorenz relatif," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 138(2), pages 111-124.
  2. Alessandro Cigno & Anna Pettini, 1999. "Taxing Family Size and Subsidising Child-specific Commodities? Optimal Fiscal Treatment of Households with Endogenous Fertility," CESifo Working Paper Series 198, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Helmut Rainer, 2004. "Gender Discrimination and Effciency in Marriage: the Bargaining Family under Scrutiny," Economics Discussion Papers 586, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  4. Pau Baizán & Arnstein Aassve & Francesco C. Billari, 2002. "Institutional arrangements and life course outcomes: the interrelations between cohabitation, marriage and first birth in Germany and Sweden," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-026, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  5. Schömann, Klaus & Flechtner, Stefanie & Mytzek, Ralf & Schömann, Isabelle, 2000. "Moving towards employment insurance: Unemployment insurance and employment protection in the OECD," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment FS I 00-201, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  6. repec:ese:emodwp:em5-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Brienna Perelli-Harris & Nora E. Sánchez Gassen, 2010. "The reciprocal relationship between the state and union formation across Western Europe: policy dimensions and theoretical considerations," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2010-034, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  8. Stephens, Melvin Jr & Ward-Batts, Jennifer, 2004. "The impact of separate taxation on the intra-household allocation of assets: evidence from the UK," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1989-2007, August.
  9. Frances Woolley, 2002. "Why pay child benefits to Mothers?," Carleton Economic Papers 02-08, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2004.
  10. Chiara Saraceno, 2005. "The Reproductive Paradox of a “Strong Family” Society: The Case of Low Fertility in Italy," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 1, March.
  11. repec:ese:emodwp:em1-00 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Giacomo Boesso & Achille Vernizzi, 2000. "Carichi di famiglia nell'Imposta sui Redditi delle Persone Fisiche in Italia e in Europa: alcune proposte per l'Italia," Departmental Working Papers 2000-12, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.

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