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

  • Holly Sutherland
  • Cathal O’Donoghue

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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Paper provided by Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series in its series Papers 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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  1. Sheldon Danziger & Jonathan Stern, 1990. "Causes and Consequences of Child Poverty in the United States," Papers iopeps90/35, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
  2. Coudouel, Aline & Marnie, Sheila & Micklewright, John, 1999. "Targeting Social Assistance in a Transition Economy: the Mahallas in Uzbekistan," CEPR Discussion Papers 2064, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Callan, Tim & Sutherland, Holly, 1997. "The impact of comparable policies in European countries: Microsimulation approaches," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 627-633, April.
  4. Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Richard Strickland, 1990. "Rural Differentiation, Poverty and Agricultural Crisis in sub-Saharan Africa: Toward an appropriate policy response," Papers iopeps90/48, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
  5. McClements, L. D., 1977. "Equivalence scales for children," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 191-210, October.
  6. Holly Sutherland, 1997. "Women, men and the redistribution of Income," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 1-22, February.
  7. John Micklewright & Gyula Nagy, 1998. "The Implications of Exhausting Unemployment Insurance Entitlement in Hungary," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 9802, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  8. Shigemi Kono & Martha N. Ozawa, 1995. "Child Well-being in Japan: The high cost of economic success," Papers iopeps95/27, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
  9. Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
  10. Maria Jepsen & Danièle Meulders & Olivier Plasman & Philippe Vanhuynegem, 1997. "Individualisation of the social and fiscal rights and the equal opportunities between women and men," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8607, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  11. John Micklewright & Suraiya Ismail, 1997. "Living Standards and Public Policy in Central Asia: What can be learned from child anthropometry?," Papers iopeps97/5, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
  12. Atkinson, A. B. & Bouguignon, F. & Chiappori, P. A., 1988. "What do we learn about tax reform from international comparisons? France and Britain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 343-352, March.
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