Support for Adult Children able to Work - Farming out Relatives at Home

Are adult children, who are able to work, eligible for support? Are relatives living abroad working as farmers in legal need of support? The Federal Tax Court published a verdict on September 1, 2010 (re VI R 29/09, judgment of May 5, 2010.


In 2005, Ali paid about € 17,000 in support to his three adult children in Turkey. They have no vocational training and are unemployed. Both are married and have minor children. His children live in his houses and work his land. The tax office denied the deduction. The local tax court granted the deduction. BFH finally spoke a last word and dismissed the case.

Support can only then be deducted from one's income as a personal deduction when the taxpayer is legally obliged to pay support (§33a I EStG). §1601 BGB determines that lineal relatives are to support one another. Lineal relatives are (downwards) children and grandchildren as well as upwards grandparents and parents as well as spouses. Adult children, however, are only then eligible for support when they are incapable to maintain themselves (1602 BGB). Following new ruling case law, set by this precedence, the indigence is now determined individually considering the person's wealth, income, ability to work, etc. Adult children are generally expected to care of themselves by themselves. Failing to do so generally bars and legal claim for support. In this reported case, it will be assumed that persons working full time in farming do not need any support. However, it is possible to prove a case to be different; i.e. that the concerned relatives are really needy.


Additional information