The Cabinet has proposed revisions to tax deduction regulations, which the Council of Grand Justices ruled to be in violation of the principles of equality enshrined in the Constitution.
According to Article 17 of the Income Act (所得稅法), taxpayers are not allowed to claim dependent exemption for non-lineal relatives and their family members between 20 and 60 years of age.
Non-kin members aged between 20 and 60 living together with taxpayers are not qualified for the tax credit either.
The Council of Grand Justices ruled that the article was unconstitutional because it violated Article 7 of the Constitution that all citizens of the Republic of China, irrespective of sex, religion, race, class or party affiliation, are equal before the law.
The Grand Justices said that the tax deduction rule made taxpayers less willing to take care of their dependents under the age of 60 who do not have the ability to earn a living on their own.
In response to the ruling from the Council of Grand Justices, the Ministry of Finance proposed the amendments to remove the age limits.
The amendment requires legislative approval before it can take effect.
Deputy Secretary-General of the Executive Yuan Huang Min-kung (黃敏恭) said the Cabinet has put the amendment on its priority list for legislative deliberation in the next legislative session, beginning on Sept. 18.
The finance ministry said it hopes that the new regulation would take effect before next year’s tax-filing season in May.
Kuo Yen-e (郭燕娥), a middle-aged woman living in Taiwan, had requested that the Council of the Grand Justices interpret the rule years ago after she lost an administrative lawsuit against the National Tax Administration of Northern Taiwan Province, which had denied her the right to claim tax exemption for her disabled sister-in-law in her 40s.