Tax Chat! Video on Gender Issues in Taxation Now Available

Dear Friends,

We have just uploaded our most recent Tax Chat! on Gender Issues in Taxation, held in early February 2021. 

This video is composed of two parts – our guests in Part I included

  • Michelle Harding, Senior Tax Economist and Head of the Tax Data and Statistical Analysis Unit at OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Paris, France;
  • Eleonor Kristoffersson, Professor of Tax Law, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden; and
  • Amy Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Income Security, National Women’s Law Center, Washington DC, USA.

Our discussion in Part I covered quite a lot ground, including explicit and implicit bias in tax systems and legislation, taxation of the family unit and joint filing by spouses (Sweden abolished joint filing in 1971), and women’s role as second earners and their participation in the informal economy, including the digital informal economy.  We explored “hidden biases” in consumption taxes as well as in capital gains preferences, which generally favor men.  And we discussed how the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates many gender inequities.

In Part II, I am joined by Attiya Waris, Acting Deputy Principal, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Associate Professor of Fiscal Law and Policy, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya, in a fascinating discussion of the gender impact of illicit financial flows, and some of the developments on the African continent during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We discussed how middle class women in the formal economy lost their jobs in the pandemic and which resulted  in a “mushrooming” of the informal economy, with home-based digital enterprises.  And we chatted about a tax administration effort to encourage members of the informal economy to become part of the formal economy by offering a blanket amnesty available only to those who are not currently in the system, and the empowerment to demand services and assistance from the government which your taxes support. 

We covered a lot more than all this, and I encourage you to watch the video in its entirety. Here are just a few links you may be interested in reading:

Ariel Jurow Kleiman, Amy Matsui, and Estelle Mitchell, The Faulty Foundations of the Tax Code: Gender and Racial Bias in Our Tax Laws.

Michelle Harding, Grace Perez-Navarro, and Hannah, In Tax, Gender Blind is not Gender Neutral: why tax policy responses to COVID-19 must consider women.

Attiya Waris, Illicit Financial Flows: Why we should claim these resources for gender, economic and social justice.

Save the Date -- Upcoming Tax Chat! with DigiTax

Our next chat will be on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at noon EST/17:00 GMT/18:00 CET.  Our guests will be Toon Calders, Sylvie DeRaedt, David Martens, Bruno Peeters, and Anne Van de Vijver from DigitaxDigitax is a Centre of Excellence within the University of Antwerp that explores the “challenge and opportunities that digitalization brings for tax.”  Keep an eye out for the announcement of open registration for what promising to be a fascinating Tax Chat!

In the meantime, take care and best wishes,


Nina E. Olson
Executive Director