The Position of Married Women in Dutch Income Tax Law Since 1893
18 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2018
Date Written: July 24, 2018
For a long time, married women were treated differently from married men in the Dutch personal income tax Act (PITA). The PITA reflected the political, religious and legal situation, but at the same time was often behind on developments in those areas. Currently, there is a strong pressure in the Netherlands to take a step back again. Christian parties and some academics have criticized the current semi-individual tax system in which single earner families pay more tax than double earner families. The academics suggested the introduction of a family taxation with a splitting system such as exists in Germany to reduce the tax burden of single income earners. In such system the spouse with low income in a dual income earner family would pay significantly more tax. As most Dutch women work part-time and earn less than their partner and taking into account price-elasticities, this compensation of single income earning families would be a disincentive for married women to work and gain economic independence. To put these proposals in perspective, this paper analyses the history of the tax treatment of married women and relates this to the Dutch political, religious and legal situation.
Keywords: Income Taxation, Gender Equality, Economic Independence, Married Women
JEL Classification: B54, D63, H24, J12, K34
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