MIFTAH showcases factsheet on progressive tax and tax burden from a gender perspective
December 28, 2019

Ramallah – 21/12/2019 – MIFTAH, along with the Civil Society Team on Public Budget Transparency (CSTPBT), held a session to showcase and discuss a factsheet aimed at following up and updating data on the fair tax monitor chapter on progressive tax and tax burden.

The data in the factsheet indicated that direct taxes dropped in 2018 by 5.2% because of the drop in the income tax transferred by Israel by 61%. This is in spite of a rise in local income tax by 7.4% because of the success of government policies in decreasing the tax rate and broadening the tax base. In the past three years, there have been consecutive rises in these revenues. However, the income tax rate for companies from the total tax revenues was very slim, at 3.6% in 2016, with a slight rise in 2017 and 2018, reaching to 4.6% and 5.4% respectively. The factsheet concluded that the presidential decree for the enacted tax law did not contribute to achieving the principle of progressivity, showing that property taxes are still very low, at around 1% of the total tax revenues. It should be noted that the majority of assets and properties are registered in the names of men because of the lack of any obligation to register property in women’s names. This requires a review of all women’s rights, especially the right to own property.

The participants’ presentations included a number of recommendations aimed at promoting the principle of gender justice, especially in the field of government revenues. This includes a decrease in the Value Added Tax (VAT) to 15% instead of 16% because the current rate in Israel is 17%, which means the PA can decrease their VAT by 2% and import products from the (A and B) annexes of the Paris Economic Protocol. In this way, the government can use VAT returns for certain sectors such as the agriculture sector, the poor, women and underprivileged and marginalized sectors.

This session is part of MIFTAH’s “Finance for Development” interventions, which it carries out in cooperation with OXFAM and which is aimed at developing fiscal policies responsive to the needs of various social sectors and also to promote transparency and participation in the revenue and overhead distribution plan.