The Law Commission is learnt to have decided against recommending income tax exemption on the money deposited in a single parent’s account as maintenance for a minor child in a divorce settlement case. In its report to be submitted to the government and the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday, the Commission is disinclined to recommend relief for such parents.
The issue was referred to it by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. At present, as per the Income Tax laws, the interest on money deposited as maintenance amount for a minor is clubbed with the income of the guardian.
The Commission, sources said, feels that if it recommends relief for such parents, it could open floodgates with similar requests from other quarters. Also, it could lead to the loss of revenue for the government, they said.
Referring the matter to the Law Commission, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had asked it to consider “as to whether the Income Tax Act, 1961 requires amendment to create exception against clubbing of a minor’s income accruing from maintenance money with either of the parent’s income”.
The court has said that as per its opinion, the circumstances of the minor having received maintenance money are different from say a minor in whose name some business has been started by either of the parents or who has been advanced some gift during the subsistence of marriage of parents.
“The matter is, therefore, forwarded to the Law Commission and the Ministry of Women and Child Development for consideration whether suitable amendments are required to be made in the Income Tax Act, 1961, to ensure that maintenance settled on minors is exempted from income tax or is treated differently,” the court had said in last January.
The Commission’s recommendations are not binding on the government or the courts.