The Impact of Taiwan Civil Code New Amendment on Taxation
According to Taiwan Civil Code, the age of majority has been lowered to 18 years old. The Taiwan Executive Yuen also amended the regulations of tax allowance in the Income Tax Act and the Estate and Gift Tax Act accordingly.
In terms of income tax, what is affected is the dependent support regulations. According to the previous version, the taxpayer’s children who are under 20 years old or over 20 years old but are still in school, physically or mentally disabled or unable to earn a living can be filed as dependent support by their family, which would increase the tax allowance for the declaring household. After the Civil Code is amended, the tax act no longer defines the age of the children being supported, instead it follows the Civil Code to examine if the target is an adult or not. Since the age of majority is now 18 years old, taxpayer can only file for dependent support for their children, siblings and other relative whom are under the age of 18. If the target reached the age of 18, he can be file for dependent support only if he is still studying, physically or mentally disabled or unable to earn a living.
The public may interpret that lowering the age of majority will make it more difficult to file for dependent support, in order to save tax. But in fact, adult-children can declare income tax independently and enjoy more deductions. The tax saving effect may be more effective in the future for the whole family.
Regarding the Estate and Gift Tax Act, the term revised is the deduction for lineal descendants. The current tax act stipulates that if a family member passes away, with children, lineal relative with low seniority in a family, are left behind, a tax allowance of NT$500,000 can be deducted in the inheritance amount. According to the current regulations, if the family members left behind are under the age of 20, an additional NT$500,000 can be deducted for every year apart.
For example, if the heir is 17 years old and he is 3 years away from adulthood according to the previous Estate and Gift Tax Act, then the additional amount can be deducted is NT$1.5 Million (NT$500,000 x 3). However, after the new amendment with the age of majority lowered to 18 years old, the amount of additional deduction would be NT$500,000, which means the total deduction amount has been reduced by NT$1 Million for the inheritance tax.