This is a perfect section for you if you are interested in enhancing your knowledge about Financial Matters. A few tips and tricks about Investing, Shares, Mutual Funds and Money Saving Schemes.
Taxpayers can lower the incidence of income tax by means of legal transfer of their sources of income among family members, so that each unit of the family enjoys the basic personal income tax exemption limit, which the Finance Bill 2008 has revised for financial year 2008-09 to Rs 150,000 for male individuals and HUFs; Rs 180,000 for resident women tax payers and Rs 225,000 for resident senior citizens.

The first step in tax saving through family tax planning is to adopt the concept of divide and rule. The simple rule is that each family member must have his or her independent source of income so as to legally become an independent tax payer under the provisions of the income tax law.

In case the entire income of a family belongs to just one member, the tax liability is much higher than when the same income is spread among different members of the family.

Now, under the income tax law it is not possible to arbitrarily divide one's income amongst different members of the family - and then pay lower tax in the names of different family members. However, this goal can be achieved by intelligent use of the facility of gifts and settlements.

Thus, for example, even if a taxpayer's parents are not paying income tax today but if they receive some gift from friends or relatives or from anyone else in the world, the income so generated would belong to them.

In this manner, independent income tax files can be started for different family members by developing independent funds for each person through gifts thereby resulting in separate independent sources of income which would then be taxed separately to income tax.

Once the income is spread among more people, chances are some of them would attract lower rates of tax. Also, each one would then be entitled to independently claim exemptions, deductions, rebates, etc.

Generally, any gift you receive from various members of your family and specified relatives is not considered your income but a capital receipt. Thus, no income tax is payable on gifts received from relatives - and also gifts received from parties other than relatives upto a sum of Rs. 50,000 and at the time of marriage up to any amount.

Care should, however, be taken to ensure that any gift which is received should be a genuine one. The person making the gift, called the donor, should have proof of his or her having the source for making the gift.

The other important point to keep in mind in the case of gifts is that the provisions of Section 64 of Income Tax Act prohibit any direct or indirect transfer of funds between an assessee and his/her spouse.

Thus, a husband should not make any gift to his wife; likewise, the wife should not make a gift to her husband. If the gift is made between spouses, it would attract the provision of Section 64 and lead to clubbing of the incomes of the spouses.

To achieve the best results of gift, and to avoid clubbing of income, you may receive gift from any relative other than your spouse, and, in the case of a daughter-in-law from her father-in-law.
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