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Claiming Allowance – Please report truthfully (deceased dependent parents/grandparents/grandparents and disabled dependents)

There have been several cases in recent years of taxpayers jailed for falsely claiming the dependent parent allowance. One was a taxpayer claiming a tax-free allowance for his deceased father, which resulted in a four-month jail term, suspended for 18 months and a fine.

It is mentioned here that if a taxpayer or his/her spouse wishes to claim the Dependent Parent/Grandparent/Grandparent Allowance, the adopter must meet the following conditions:

• He is ordinarily resident in Hong Kong

• Be over 55 years of age or eligible for Government Disability Allowance and

• Live with the taxpayer for at least six consecutive months without paying full expenses or the taxpayer has contributed not less than $12,000 per year to support

If the taxpayer’s or spouse’s parent/grandparent/grandparent dies on a certain day in the relevant year of assessment, the taxpayer can only claim his allowance for that last year. Even if the period from April 1 to the date of death is less than six months, and the taxpayer or spouse has paid not less than $12,000 to support him, he can still claim his allowance. To avoid unnecessary prosecution, taxpayers are reminded not to claim their allowances for years of assessment following the year in which they died.

The taxpayer as an adopter has enjoyed:

• Married Allowance

• Child Allowance

• Sibling Allowance

• Dependent Parent/Dependent Grandparent/Grandparent Allowance OR

• Residential care expenses for the elderly

The dependant is eligible to receive an allowance under the [Hong Kong Government Disability Allowance Scheme], and the taxpayer can also enjoy the disabled dependant allowance. If the taxpayer himself is eligible to apply for the allowance under the above scheme, starting from the year of assessment 18/19, he can also claim the allowance for his/her handicapped persons.

Some elderly dependants are eligible to receive Disability Allowance, but they choose to apply for Old Age Living Allowance instead of claiming it. If the taxpayer claims the Disability Dependent Allowance for the elder, it will also be accepted by the Inland Revenue Department.

If a taxpayer wants to apply for the disabled dependant allowance, he only needs to put a tick under the item claiming the relevant allowance to show that the dependant is eligible to apply for the government disability allowance in the relevant year of assessment.

The above information is for reference only. If in doubt, we welcome your tax enquiry

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