In particular when there are hard economic times, who pays what and how much into the ‘system’ in terms of tax etc can be quite a controversial topic. A new survey suggests there are even differences in opinions regarding tax between gender groups, let alone other more obvious groupings such as age and economic standing. The survey, WalletHub’s ‘2014 Tax Fairness Survey’ had more than a thousand participants, and was designed to be representative of US groupings for gender, age and race.
Corporate taxes are in the spotlight currently as more US companies reincorporate abroad to earn profits without the necessity of having to pay US taxes. They do so via the purchase of foreign companies or merger deals, one of the most recent attempts being the drug giant Pfizer’s over $100bn merger bid for its British rival AstraZeneca. The government hope is to make the 35% that the US takes more competitive, as it is one of the highest rates charged by the developed world. Directly in opposition to this – where surveyed almost two thirds want corporate tax to be higher – the percentage of women who want this are at 73% compared to 55% of men.
The main findings included that 80% of people thought the tax system was either ‘complex’ or ‘extremely complex’, though the gender differences for this were minimal (education level was the biggest variation factor, with the more educated finding the tax system more complex). This reflects the rise in using free tax calculators online.
On the question of what matters most in a tax system, taxes for economic growth, to foster equality or to foster fairness, 61% believed fairness comes first. Men were more likely than women to say tax equality comes first. To enable a less complex and a fairer taxation system, many think less tax deductions are the way forward: 48% of men, compared to just 36% of women.
Overall less than a quarter of all those surveyed want a flat tax system opposed to the system most countries have of progressive taxation. Proportionally 29% of men and only 20% of women.
Further research is to be conducted in order to analyse what these differences may mean in terms of gender differences, finances and society.