Are Tax Expenditures of Individuals Only a Tool of Tax Optimisation?
The paper focuses on tax expenditures of individuals, which are one of the fiscal tools of the state. In the Czech Republic they are primarily aimed at housing policy, pension policy, and philanthropy, and the question is the extent to which tax expenditures can influence the preferences of tax payers. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the effect of tax expenditures of individuals in the form of tax deductions for social policy, housing support and retirement savings. We also evaluate whether these tax deductions fulfill the fiscal functions for which they were introduced and the extent to which taxpayers use them. Methodically, the research is based on the analysis of secondary statistical data of the Financial Administration of the Czech Republic and results from aggregated tax returns filed for the period 2005–2015. The effect of tax deductions was decreased by abolition of the progressive rate of personal income taxes and by introduction of a uniform tax rate of 15%. Tax deductions for retirement savings do not have a sufficiently strong motivational impact and do not affect taxpayers in the context of public policy. Deductions for mortgage interest can be regarded as a form of major housing support, but are related to taxpayer income and favor those with higher incomes.
KeywordsTax policy Tax deductions Individuals Mortgage interest Life insurance Retirement contributions
JEL ClassificationH2 D14 E62
This paper was supported by the Student Grant Competition of the Silesian University in Opava 2016, with the number SGS 20/16, named “Tax relief individuals as part of the promotion of public policies in the Czech Republic.“
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