In several countries, personal income tax permits tax credits for out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure. Tax credits benefit taxpayers at all income levels by reducing their net tax liability and modify the price of out-of-pocket expenditure. To the extent that consumer demand is price elastic, they may influence the amount of eligible healthcare expenditure for which taxpayers may claim a credit. These effects influence, in turn, income distributions and taxpayers’ health status and therefore income-related inequality in health. Redistributive consequences of tax credits have been widely investigated. However, little is known about the ability of tax credits to alleviate health inequality. In this paper, we study the potential effects that tax credits for health expenses may have on income-related inequality in health status with reference to the Italian institutional setting. The analysis is performed using a tax-benefit microsimulation model that reproduces the personal income tax and incorporates taxpayers’ behavioral responses to changes in tax credit rate. Our results suggest that the current healthcare tax credit design tends to favor the richest part of the population.

Do healthcare tax credits help poor-health individuals on low incomes?

MARENZI, ANNA;RIZZI, Dino
2018

Abstract

In several countries, personal income tax permits tax credits for out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure. Tax credits benefit taxpayers at all income levels by reducing their net tax liability and modify the price of out-of-pocket expenditure. To the extent that consumer demand is price elastic, they may influence the amount of eligible healthcare expenditure for which taxpayers may claim a credit. These effects influence, in turn, income distributions and taxpayers’ health status and therefore income-related inequality in health. Redistributive consequences of tax credits have been widely investigated. However, little is known about the ability of tax credits to alleviate health inequality. In this paper, we study the potential effects that tax credits for health expenses may have on income-related inequality in health status with reference to the Italian institutional setting. The analysis is performed using a tax-benefit microsimulation model that reproduces the personal income tax and incorporates taxpayers’ behavioral responses to changes in tax credit rate. Our results suggest that the current healthcare tax credit design tends to favor the richest part of the population.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Do healthcare tax credits help poor-health individuals on low incomes.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: articolo principale
Tipologia: Documento in Post-print
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 491.12 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
491.12 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in ARCA sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3685580
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus 5
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 4
social impact