On January the 15th, the European Parliament has adopted a non-legislative Report (2018/2095(INI)) on gender equality and taxation policies in the EU. The parliament not only highlights how gender biases in existing EU tax laws perpetuate gender inequalities worldwide but also recognizes that gender responsive taxation is crucial to fight gender discrimination.

The report acknowledges that the choice of how to raise and how to spend revenue impact women’s security and income in different ways than it does men’s. Fiscal policies further often reduce women’s access to adequate public services and undermines their economic and social capabilities. The report clearly states that the lack of gender perspective in EU and national taxation policies reinforces existing gender gaps regarding employment, income, unpaid work, wealth and social securities, creates disincentives for women to join the formal labor force and, last but not least, reproduces traditional gender roles and stereotypes.

The report calls for careful analysis of existing tax policies’ impacts both in developed and developing countries. Thereupon, the report highlights the importance of  corporate taxation, wealth and capital taxes as sources of revenue and calls for a decrease in indirect taxes such as VAT. It proposes to all member states to shift from joint to individual taxation and to design a personal income tax (in regard to exemptions, the structure of rates, deductions and allowances) that promotes an equal share of paid and unpaid work, income and pensions between men and women. It further warns that existing EU tax policies have a negative impact in developing countries for the benefit of multinational corporations.

The report was presented jointly by the committee “Economic and Monetary Affairs” and the committee “Women's Rights and Gender Equality” and their rapporteurs MEPs Marisa Matias and Ernest Urtasun and adopted on Tuesday 15 January by the plenary of the parliament.

Read as well the statement by Tax Justice Network.