How the tax concession system is stacked against Aussie women


The tax concession system is a contributing factor to gender inequality with most of the benefits flowing onto men, new research from the Australia Institute shows.

Economic modelling commissioned by the Australia Institute from the Centre for Social Research and Methods revealed tax concessions cost the federal budget $60 billion per year with the majority benefiting men.

The four tax concessions consist of negative gearing, superannuation tax concessions, capital gain tax discount and franking credits and, of the annual spend, $42 billion of the benefit goes to men and $18 billion goes to women.

tax concessions disadvantaging aussie women

"Gender pay gap, childcare, superannuation, and our research shows even Australia's system of tax concessions are stacked against women," says Australia Institute research economist Eliza Littleton.

From super tax concessions, 72% flow onto men and for every dollar of super tax concession going to women, men get $2.52 and for CGT 61% of the discount flows to men, getting $1.54 for every dollar going to women.

The statistics are similar for excess franking credits with 72% of the benefit going to men who are receiving $2.57 for every dollar women receive, and $2.35 going to men per dollar for negative gearing benefits.

"Even accounting for the proportion of tax paid by men compared to women, our analysis shows that men receive an oversized benefit from these tax concessions," Littleton says.

"Just from these four tax concessions, every year wealthy men receive an extra $24 billion dollars more than women - further entrenching inequality."

The report noted that winding back the tax concessions will raise revenue which could go towards childcare and boosting retirement incomes for those in poverty.

"Scrapping or curtailing these tax concessions would not only reduce inequality but it would also raise billions of dollars that the government could use to further reduce inequality," the report says.

This article first appeared on Financial Standard

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Annabelle Dickson was a Financial Standard journalist from July 2020 to November 2021. She previously worked at The Inside Investor and The Inside Adviser. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Journalism) from The University of Technology Sydney.
justin willis
April 7, 2021 2.55pm

"Asteroid Hits Earth! Women Most Affected!"

April 7, 2021 4.48pm

Most men are married and most women are married, so there's lots of pooling of finances even if money/assets are in a single name.

Stop trying to divide people into 'tribes'.

Lisa Apps
April 7, 2021 5.09pm

Just because something isnt equal doesnt mean it is unjust or unfair.. .had to roll my eyes at this headline and article quoting some report by some left wing educational group no doubt, suggesting the bad bad patriarchy is at work again. The differences in stats for pay gap have less to do with designed inequality or suppression than it does general roles in society, hours willing to work and type of jobs with varying rates of pay... women tend to work less once they start family because we are natural nurturers, plus half of us are single mums, I think you need to do more open minded research and reporting for a journalist. last I heard there was minimum wages and laws that ensured wages and tax deductions are applied equally to any person regardless of gender or sexuality or race, skin color,. all tax rates and fees for financial services are equally applied to male or females..."he" often earns more because he does more hours, has more complex complex skills that a woman would choose to do and get same rate of pay..if they were willing.. but they are not. Why dont you encourage more women to take equal opportunity to run their own business and be plumbers, builders, brickies, garbage collectors, roofers, gardeners, corporate CEO's working 80hrs a week on HUGE negotiated contracts and even it up instead of blaming the system for inequality - there is plenty of equal opportunity here...and without further break down of traditional family values, it cant get much better but the effect seems to be worse to have women expected to work full time to help bring in the money for mortgage or lifestyle, as well as raise their families when we generally not wired that way.

Rod F
April 7, 2021 6.29pm

Can't agree more with Justin and SY. The misuse of statistics by the "women are disadvantaged" lobby is becoming an avalanche. For a married couple, use of tax concessions is often strategic - and certainly not determined by gender.

And the author seems to be suggesting a gender basis be introduced into the tax act to penalize men on the basis of their gender. So much for fairness!

Pat Gardiner
April 11, 2021 5.08am


Leonie Y
April 8, 2021 8.10am

What a lot of rubbish. I am a female and I am entitled to all of the above. I have invested in a number of ways and have worked and saved hard while looking after my own financial independence. Any woman can do the same. For those married and (maybe) at a disadvantage, they may benefit in other ways as other commenters have stated as a part of a couple, they are also reaping the benefits through their husbands tax advantages. Also, I was a single mum with four children and did this on my own.

Oliver ILLI
April 8, 2021 9.01am

Lisa said it, well done. Instead of bringing the top down why not help lift the bottom up. Encourage to do better, strife for the higher or better, adapt, what are the others doing that I could copy to make my situation better.

Fred Langores
April 8, 2021 7.47pm

Ridiculous article, show us a tax law that only benefits to men. Women have the same opportunities than men, and maybe more. Stop trying to get readership by dividing people

Pat Gardiner
April 11, 2021 5.07am

As mentioned earlier in the comments, Please stop with the "disadvantage to women" rhetoric. Also, can you give numbers for the "proportion of tax paid by men compared to women" statistics that are touched on in the article?