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