Planning for your financial future? Give your plans a boost with information tailored for you
Start Choosing Here »

The Latest Gender Gap: People's Views About Taxes

difference gender
A new survey revealing key differences about how the sexes view their taxes. WalletHub"s 2014 Tax Fairness Survey, released last week, had its share of predictable findings:
  • Four out of five respondents think the U.S. tax code is "complex" or "extremely complex."
  • Nearly two out of three want corporations to pay higher tax rates than individuals pay.
  • Nine out of 10 think income from investments (interest, dividends, stock gains) should be taxed at least as much as wages. (The survey didn't ask people whether they'd like to pay more taxes, but we can probably guess what the answer would have been.)
Reading between the lines of the predictable answers, WalletHub stumbled upon a few interesting differences between how women and think the tax code should be arranged.

Asking what factors were most important in a tax system, WalletHub gave respondents three choices -- taxes calculated to encourage economic growth, to promote "equality" or to promote "fairness."

WalletHub noted that male respondents were "more likely than women to have responded tax equality is most important." Yet overall, only 21 percent of respondents favored making "equality" the defining characteristic of the tax code, and 61 percent said "fairness" is more important.

So how do we get to a "fairer" tax code? A sizable plurality (44 percent) think eliminating or reducing tax deductions is a good start -- and this appears to appeal to men particularly.

Nearly half of male respondents (48 percent) favor getting rid of tax deductions as a means of getting to a fairer tax code. Only 36 percent of women want to get rid of tax deductions for fairness' sake.

Flat = Equal? Hardly

As for the ultimate of equality in taxation -- a flat tax -- fewer than one in four respondents want to go that route. In fact, more than three-quarters favor progressive taxation -- either the system we have or some variant.

But here, too, a difference of opinion arises between the sexes. While 29 percent of men favor a national flat income tax, only 20 percent of women do. While it's a clear minority position across the population, that still means men are about 50 percent more likely to favor a flat tax than are women.

Sticking It to 'the Man'

One place that WalletHub respondents are even more decidedly against flat taxation than usual is when it comes to corporations. Per Supreme Court dictate, "corporations are people," but a sizable majority of Americans (65 percent) say that corporations should pay higher tax rates than human people do.

Women appear to be particularly enthusiastic about levying higher corporate tax rates, with 73 percent of respondents in favor. Men are more evenly divided: 55 percent for, 45 percent against. Digging deeply into the statistics and controlling for "age, region, education, race and income," WalletHub found that women as a whole are more than three times as likely to support higher taxes on corporations.

Vive la Difference!

What explains the differences in views of taxation between men and women? It's hard to say from the results of just one survey, but the findings were so intriguing that WalletHub intends to perform additional surveys.

One key statistic may offer a clue. Nationally, married couples with dependent children now make up just 20 percent of households in the U.S. "Single dad" households comprise just 6 percent. Households headed by single moms, on the other hand, now account for 25 percent of households in the country.

That makes single moms the second-largest "head of household" demographic in the U.S. (behind single-person households, at 28 percent). And if these trends continue, women heads-of-household could soon outnumber traditional married-filing-jointlies and households headed by men -- combined.

It only stands to reason that, solely responsible for the finances of themselves and their children, this growing demographic might have a few opinions about how a tax system that was fair to them might look.

No offense, but Motley Fool writer Rich Smith counts himself among the 52 percent of Americans who think that you should pay more of his taxes (he said, putting a spin on the Gallup poll results).

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Banking Services 101

Understand your bank's services, and how to get the most from them

View Course »

How to Buy a Car

How to get the best deal and buy a car with confidence.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
Yup James

If there are any traders here I want to let you in on a great system for trading I've found for the oil futures. Check out Bionic Traders, I went from a beginner to profitable in my first month. Oil trading is the best way better than the Forex or stocks. Google Bionic Traders to learn more.

June 20 2014 at 1:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think we should reduce the tax on corporations to 25% and at the same time cutting most of the tax loopholes and deductions. Congress has granted the "friends" and benefactors with hugh loopholes that the rest of us can't even fathom. Giving big developers hugh tax breaks to build is another one - that is called welfare to the rich and connected. Congress takes our tax dollars and doles them out - their is no oversight or transparency. Big oil and Big Pharma and the super big and rich farmers get our money - not the people. They dole out crumbs and we are supposed to be grateful. Oh, I forgot the Military Industrial Complex which eats up more and more - growing like a cancer, The wealthy will be fine, the rest of us have been and continue to suffer. The richest Country in the World with the best healthcare - only for a few.

June 19 2014 at 7:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There you go. Majority of people feel differently than the GOP on most tax issues. How much longer will the masses continue to vote against their own interests. as long as the swallow the garbage the GOP and Fox throw their way

June 19 2014 at 3:16 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I guess most of the "brains" surveyed do not realize that taxing corporations more simply means the will raise the price of their goods or services - thus passing it on to the consumer. So, in reality, higher taxes on business are simply a "hidden" tax that the buyer (or user) pays. Everyone seems to want someone to pay more in taxes - as long as it is someone else. Let's have lower taxes for everyone by cutting wasteful spending (of which there is plenty). Also by growing the economy (by lower taxes) more revenue is collected - this was shown by both a Democrat (Kennedy) and Republican (Reagan). Much higher revenue taxed at a lower rate will result in MORE taxes collected. That is why taxing the super rich more will not be effective- there are too few of them to make a major difference in tax revenues.

June 19 2014 at 11:53 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

What is NOT fair is that almost HALF the people pay ANY income tax ! EVERY citizen needs to have some "skin" in the game ---- EVERY citizen ---
Is it too much to ask PEOPLE to understand that we have the HIGHEST corporate tax rate in the world ? Do they understand that every thing they buy has that tax as part of the price? Do they understand that the "corporations" are moving over seas to more business friendly countries? And do they understand that "corporations" Hire them ? Pay their benefits ? That corporations run the trust funds that pay their retirement benefits, do they understand that CORPORATIONS provide the jobs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is it too much ask that people take the time to undrstand how our economy works ? How can they answer these questions if they don't have a clue ? It is a truly a sad state of afairs when our citizrns soil the reputations of corporations that are the strength of this nation !

June 19 2014 at 11:09 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

I'm so glad our wonderful president approved gay marriage, so now me and my hubby can enjoy life in our new double-wide. He's a pilot and he makes six figures, and he bought us a new A6. All of our redneck neighbors are jealous. We love paying higher taxes because it's the right thing to do.

June 19 2014 at 11:00 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jim.lapt's comment

Great, why don't you pay a little additional. It will help to cover Obama's incompetence!

June 19 2014 at 11:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

it is not the responsibility of the american tax payer to support welfare rats n illegal immigrants that obamy sabotaged n let "break" into america. !!!!!

June 19 2014 at 10:26 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chitt9111's comment

Are you aware that Obama has deported more illegals in 5.5 yearts than Bush did in 8. Naw, Fox didn't tell you that.

June 19 2014 at 3:18 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Tom Harrell

Maybe you should ask the People if they would mind paying More in Taxes to help the Economy, if the Rich were made to pay their SHARE ? ?
Even George HW Bush knew that in order to Save our Economy we had to Raise Taxes, He Paid a Price for it and Clinton Made out like a BANDIT because of it
The Wealth of this Nation is being HOARDED by the Few and they're Not even having to WORK for it.
A LAYOFF here and some OUTSOURCING there and A couple of HEDGE FUNDS and OFF SHORE ACCOUNTS thrown in for Good Measure.

June 19 2014 at 10:26 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

So the majority thinks that their employers the corporations should pay higher taxes... has these same individuals thought that if their employers are forced to pay higher taxes that they could lose their jobs?

June 19 2014 at 10:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to bchrist751's comment

"cut hte size of government"~~"cut the muslim clowns "out of control spending"~~"cut all americans taxes"~~"deport all illegal immigrants the muslim clown let "break" into america n recapture n deport the 36,000 illegal immigrants that the muslim clown released from our american jails ,back into america that bush had captured n were slated for depoirtation. !!!

June 19 2014 at 9:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply