Childcare allowance reduces tax-privileged maintenance payments

FG Münster: Child benefit is not to be counted
Munster (jur). The childcare allowance, introduced at federal level in 2013 and continued only in Bavaria after 2015, reduces the partner's tax deduction for non-married parents for their maintenance. In contrast, child benefit is not counted towards the tax-deductible maintenance payments, as the Finanzgericht (FG) Münster decided in a judgment announced on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 (file number: 14 K 2825/16 E).

The childcare allowance, popularly known by critics and especially by critics, is intended to support parents who do not use a public or publicly funded place in a daycare center before their child's third birthday. It is paid from the 15th month of life and was initially EUR 100 at federal level, then EUR 150 per month from August 2014.

On July 21, 2015, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the federal government lacks the legislative competence to do this (file number: BvF 2/13; JurAgentur report from the judgment day). Bavaria then introduced its own childcare allowance, also 150 euros per month, up to the child's third birthday.

The dispute concerns a couple in Westphalia who live in a marriage-like community. The father paid maintenance to the mother and wanted to claim this in full as an extraordinary tax burden. In 2015, however, the mother also received childcare allowance. The tax office counted this and also the mother's half share in child benefit as the mother's income, which reduces the tax-deductible maintenance payments of the father accordingly.

The father's lawsuit against this was successful only with regard to child benefit. This serves the tax exemption of the child's subsistence level and is intended for their livelihood. In social law, it is also seen as the income of the child, not of the parents, according to the Münster Regional Court.

In contrast, the childcare allowance should honor the childcare and parenting performance of the parents and provide compensation for parents who do not use a daycare place for their under three-year-old child. The money was therefore "suitable and intended to secure the mother's maintenance". Therefore, it should also be counted as income, according to the FG Münster in its already published judgment of July 11, 2017. mwo / fle

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