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Tax concessions failing women: Research

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.

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

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 said.

"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 said.

Read more: Australia InstituteCentre for Social ResearchEliza Littleton