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Forum Replies

Parent Relief Meant To Recognise Taxpayers Who Support Their Parents

27 Jul 2010

1. Ms Jo Lim ("Piety and the Taxman" ST, 10 July) suggested that the government should grant tax relief to all the children who are supporting an elderly parent.

2. The parent relief is a gesture to recognise taxpayers who put effort and resources into supporting their elderly parents.  It is not meant to incentivise children to look after their parents or to help defray their costs, as our society is premised on children caring for their elderly parents.

3. The parent relief is designed as a fixed amount for each elderly parent being supported, and does not depend on the number of children doing so or in what proportions they contribute. Often the duty of caring for the parent is shared in varying ways amongst children and their spouses, and sometimes the grandchildren It is not practically possible to break up and apportion the parent relief in an equitable manner to all of them.

4. Each family can however make its own arrangements to benefit from the parent relief. For example, a taxpayer supporting an elderly parent can claim the parent relief in any year of assessment, and arrange for the benefits to be shared amongst all who provide the support. Alternatively, children can take turns claiming the relief.

5. To accord greater recognition to taxpayers who support their parents, we  enhanced the parent relief with effect from Year of Assessment 2010. Taxpayers can claim parent relief of $4,500 to $11,000 per dependant parent, depending on whether the parent is disabled or staying with the taxpayer.

Yours faithfully,

Lim Bee Khim (Ms)
Director, Corporate Communications
Ministry of Finance