Difference between Horizontal Equity and Vertical Equity

Taxes are the mandatory contributions that citizens must make to the government so that it can fund essential services and programs. Acts of resistance or evasion are illegal ways to avoid paying, and those who do so risk legal repercussions. As a result, most countries have fully functional tax systems, and the government bears the cost of tax collection.

Subunits such as property, gifts, estates, wealth, inheritance, payrolls, and sales are all liable to taxation. Inheritance and material riches are two other components. In the event that taxation is necessary, fair procedures must be used. The two most common types of stock distribution in modern firms are the vertical equity structure and the horizontal equity structure.

What is Horizontal Equity?

Equal pay for equal work is a tax theory based on the principle that people with similar incomes should be subject to the same tax rate. Due to the fact that this method is entirely based on numerical criteria, it is impossible to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or profession. However, this approach is not always easy to put into practice because of the difficulties that arise when attempting to categorize people based on whether or not they have equal access to money and resources.

Let's pretend for the purpose of argument that everyone in a certain group earns $30,000 annually. They should all be required to make the same tax payment under these circumstances.

What is Vertical Equity?

Taxation according to income level; often called the "capacity to pay" idea. A higher percentage of one's income would be taxed under this plan. People with higher salaries, more access to resources, and greater wealth are therefore subjected to paying more in taxes than those with lesser levels of these variables due to the use of progressive and proportional tax rates. This is made feasible via a kind of taxation called progressive taxation, in which those in higher income categories pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes.

After that point, the collected funds are allocated to a wide range of government initiatives. An individual with an annual income of $60,000 would pay 15% in taxes, whereas an individual with an annual income of $110,000 would pay 25%.

Differences − Horizontal and Vertical Equity

The following table highlights how Horizontal Equity is different from Vertical Equity −

Characteristics Horizontal Equity Vertical Equity


According to the principle of horizontal equity in taxation, everyone making the same amount of money should pay the same amount of tax. This is due to the fact that, in accordance with this principle, equals are to be treated as such.

By increasing as a percentage of income, the total amount of taxes collected under a system of vertical equity increases in tandem with economic success.


As an example of horizontal equality, consider the tax burden placed on a group of persons with annual incomes of $30,000 or more. This example shows how horizontal equity functions in practice.

Someone making $60,000 is taxed at 15%, whereas someone making $110,000 is taxed at 25%. The concept of vertical equity may be shown in this example.

To further illustrate vertical equity, consider the tax rate of 25% that applies to an individual with an annual income of $110,000.


Horizontal equity is a tax theory that states equals are to be treated as equals, and those who earn the same amount of money should therefore pay the same amount of tax. It prevents bias in the workplace on the basis of race, ethnicity, or gender.

Vertical equity, on the other hand, is a method of tax collection that is based on the quantity of income and ensures a fair distribution of wealth across society by raising tax payments in direct proportion to a person's income.