Taxation: why it is not good to be a woman?


Being a woman is not an easy experience. In many cases, if not all of them, it is necessary to deal with significant inequalities, likely to severely shape the course of a life. These are not limited to the most visible elements, which Planet has sometimes had the opportunity to talk about. Some, alas, are more insidious. And they can be particularly expensive. In the most literal sense of the term, informs Le Parisien, after looking long, wide and across the fiscal dimension of these injustices.

Different tax systems tend to undermine women’s salaries or, at the very least, to keep them in a certain form of precariousness. The first of them, underlines the Ile-de-France daily, is none other than the family quotient. It was given a recent spotlight, since several candidates for the 2022 presidential election proposed its redesign. Some even went so far as to advocate its abolition. Why ?

The family quotient, explains the French administration on the public service website, corresponds to the “division of taxable income into a certain number of parts”. The latter depends on several elements in practice: the marital status of the taxpayer, first, but also the number of people he or she has to support. It therefore allows the familiarization of the tax, underlines Vie Publique. This is not the only device criticized by some feminist associations. The maritalization quotient is at the heart of all grievances, or almost. This allows, as its name suggests, to… conjugate the tax. Unfortunately, explains Madmoizelle on her site and on the basis of Insee data (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, 2019), this always favors the person who earns the most in the couple, in the event of a difference in substantial income. However, in three quarters of the cases, it is the men who affect the most. On average, the latter therefore benefit from a tax reduction of 13 points… to the detriment of their spouse who pays an additional 6 points.

More than systematically costing money to women – and, in general – to precarious spouses, the conjugalization of taxes tends to keep them in a certain precariousness. Including after the possible rupture of the union, indicates Le Parisien.

In practice, such a tax model tends to discourage precarious spouses from seeking more remunerative assignments or resuming a professional activity after possibly having stopped working. In question ? The mechanical tax increase that they would then have to wipe out.

Even divorce is usually not enough to break the cycle. As soon as alimony (following the possible birth of a child, for example) is paid, its amount must be declared by the tax household that receives it. Conversely, the person who pays it (traditionally a man) can exempt the amount sent from tax… which he could not have done if he had remained married. An injustice, still denounces Madmoizelle.

In fact, notes Le Parisien again, it remains possible to de-conjugalize the tax to be paid. We then speak of an “individualized rate”, which takes into account the income of each of the spouses and can therefore differ between the two. In concrete terms, this means that it is possible to continue paying tax as if the union did not exist. Unfortunately, in 2019, only 7.6% of women used this little-known solution.

It does not take more to justify the automatic implementation of such a device, indicates Madmoizelle, without hesitating to speak of a frank “conflict”. “With an individualized rate by default, the discussion would not be the same at all: imagine the one who earns the most asking his wife to switch to the common rate because that benefits him…”, recalls Héloïse Bolle, wealth management advisor at Oseille et compagnie, and author of the book Good accounts make good lovers, interviewed by the pure-player. A way to highlight these insidious balance of power?