Do the math for the world’s tax systems

Written by By Ericka Dreifus, CNN From the grass-roots level to the International Board of Tax Examiners , global taxes have undergone some massive transformation in recent years. The topic is more important than…

Do the math for the world's tax systems

Written by By Ericka Dreifus, CNN

From the grass-roots level to the International Board of Tax Examiners , global taxes have undergone some massive transformation in recent years. The topic is more important than ever — earlier this year there was a cash crunch on the InterContinental Express. At the other end of the scale, the German government have come under fire for implementing taxes that could force retirement homes to start charging customers as young as 64.

Doing the math

It’s a long list. But it’s also worth exploring.

Overall taxes are up across the board, whether we’re talking about taxes that government collects for individuals, corporations or investors.

There are huge changes to corporate taxes, especially in the United States. The recent Trump administration tax cut has drastically increased that tax burden from the corporate entity itself. The rate was cut from 35% to 21%, boosting America’s big business sector (which typically favors incumbent politics) but costing the Treasury massive amounts of money.

The top wealth-wealth gap in the world

The median disposable income in America, including federal, state and local taxes, has risen significantly since the 1970s, but workers are having a harder time making ends meet. According to a 2018 report from the Congressional Budget Office, income inequality in the US has been widening rapidly.

The Census Bureau reports that 21% of households earned less than $30,000 in 2017. At the same time, personal income inequality has increased sharply between 2005 and 2016. That shows just how unequal the US tax system is.

Meanwhile, in the UK, per capita tax revenue has fallen from more than 13% of GDP in 2000 to below 9% of GDP in 2016. That’s despite its government having increased taxes on corporations, as well as high-income individuals and households over the past 15 years.

Despite the fact that the rate of population decline in developed countries is slowing significantly, it’s still real — and the difference will become more significant in coming years.

Is it just women and minorities who are affected?

Let’s consider the issues at play here. Across the world, women represent half of all workers but less than 15% of those who are paid by the hour. Also, some forms of pay inequality are more pronounced than others.

In the US, federal and state law both protect against the pay gap in effect between men and women, which the Institute for Women’s Policy Research says is a gap of 31% across the board. But this disparity looks less like a country-wide issue and more like a human rights one.

As for people of color, non-white and Asian women are often paid less than white and male counterparts for “the same job or job performance,” according to a 2017 report from the Center for American Progress. Among Hispanic women, that figure was a staggering 52%.

In the US and other countries, the gender pay gap isn’t just a disparity between male and female employees. There’s also a pay gap within working women’s groups, with higher earnings going to those who belong to a certain demographic group. For instance, women of color are paid 20% less than their white counterparts; the average in the US is just 10%.

Also worth keeping in mind: The higher your income bracket, the less money you’ll get to keep. The new “skinny” tax plan was designed to encourage upper-income earners to incorporate, which would theoretically equal greater savings; “luxury, yachts, and private jets” will even be taxed at a higher rate now. Even with the new reform, the proposed tax code is projected to result in a $2 trillion deficit by 2027.

On a less taxing note, what if your top house in your neighborhood is destroyed in a fire? What if your plant dies? A new web program created by researchers at the University of London and the Stanford University School of Medicine aims to save people thousands of dollars in home repairs.

This week’s TV must-see: Meet “Miami Vice” star Ricardo Tubbs

Available on: YouTube/Google-owned YouTube Red.

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