CA. Vineet Grover
( Expert )
12 January 2008
There are a few gifts that will not be taxed. These include gifts from relatives, which include the recipients spouse, brother or sister (and spouse of brother or sister), spouses brother or sister (and their spouses), parents brother or sister (and their spouses), any lineal ascendant or descendant, and any lineal ascendant or descendant of the spouse of the individual.
In my view, lineal ascendant or descendant covers relatives not only from the male side but also from the female side. Gifts received on the occasion of the recipients marriage will not be taxed, nor will be death-bed gifts and gifts received under a will or by way of inheritance.
The general feeling is that the exceptions are not sufficient and leave out a number of genuine instances where there is no intention of money laundering or tax evasion while giving gifts.
For instance, gifts received from friends or from relatives like children of parents brother or sister, or those received on birthdays and anniversaries or for meritorious academic or sporting performances, medical assistance received from philanthropists, gratuitous compensation received from the central or state government during natural calamities or mishaps, and many more.
It is not fair to tax such receipts. The present provision of taxing gifts seems unduly harsh and needs to be radically amended or toned down so that legitimate recipients are not taxed.