Abe team mulls spousal tax break to encourage women to work more hours


The Abe administration is thinking about introducing a new income tax deduction for breadwinners regardless of spousal income, sources said.

In contrast with the current deduction, which is aimed at reducing the tax burden on households with spouses who mostly stay at home, the new tax break would free spouses from the need to restrict their work hours.

The administration hopes this would induce women to continue working while raising children, but some households could face a larger tax burden depending on the size of the deduction and other conditions.

The government’s Tax Commission will hold a general meeting Friday to discuss the plan along with two others, including increasing the tax burden on households with nonworking spouses, the sources said Wednesday.

The new tax break would likely be introduced no sooner than fiscal 2016.

The current tax deduction is sometimes criticized for preventing women from entering the labor force or seeking full-time employment. It allows taxpayers to claim a special deduction of ¥380,000 from their taxable earnings if their spouse earns no more than ¥1.03 million a year.

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