Even before we got married, I already knew that my husband has a daughter with his former girlfriend. Unfortunately, the mother of the child died two years ago. Since then, we took in the child and I already treat her as my own daughter. Given that the daughter of my husband now solely depends on him for support, is my husband entitled to an additional tax deduction?
Please be informed that Section 35 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), as amended, provides:
“SEC. 35. Allowance of Personal Exemption for Individual Taxpayer.-
x x x
(B) Additional Exemption for Dependents. – There shall be allowed an additional exemption of Twenty-five thousand pesos (25,000) for each dependent not exceeding four (4).
“The additional exemption for dependents shall be claimed by only one of the spouses in the case of married individuals.
“In the case of legally separated spouses, additional exemptions may be claimed only by the spouse who has custody of the child or children:
Provided, that the total amount of additional exemptions that may be claimed by both shall not exceed the maximum additional exemptions herein allowed.
“For purposes of this sub-section, a ‘dependent’ means a legitimate, illegitimate or legally adopted child chiefly dependent upon and living with the taxpayer if such dependent is not more than twenty-one (21) years of age, unmarried and not gainfully employed or if such dependent, regardless of age, is incapable of self-support because of mental or physical defect.”(Emphasis supplied)
Based on the above provision, your husband my validly claim his daughter as his dependent if the latter is not more than twenty-one (21) years old, unmarried and not gainfully employed. Furthermore, he should not have four (4) persons already registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as his dependents. Your husband then would be entitled to an additional exemption from his tax liabilities equivalent to Twenty Five Thousand Pesos (25,000.00).
Please note, however, that in order for your husband to actually enjoy this additional exemption, he needs to register his daughter with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as his dependent. He may do this by submitting his Certificate of Update of Exemption and of Employer’s and Employee’s Information (BIR Form No. 2305) together with the birth certificate of his daughter, death certificate of the child’s mother and other documents that would help prove that the child is a qualified dependent of your husband. This is pursuant to Revenue Regulations No. 10-2008 of the BIR.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org