Child benefit for married children, taxes, heap

From 2012, the marriage of a child is irrelevant for the child allowance – change in the case law.

From 2012, the marriage of a child is irrelevant for the child allowance – change in the case law.


Up to 2011, an adult child was only included in the child benefit if his income and earnings did not exceed the annual limit of EUR 8004 (until 2009: EUR 7,834). The maintenance payments of his spouse were also harmful to a married child. As of 2012, the income and earnings limit no longer applies. It was therefore disputed whether the maintenance claims against the spouse can still be used.

V is the father of an adult, but not yet 25 years old, married daughter T, who was in an apprenticeship in 2012. The family fund rejected the application for child benefit on the grounds that T could talk to herself with her own income and her husband’s maintenance contribution. According to the calculation of the family fund, T had (own) income of more than EUR 8,300.

The FG gave V the right and decided that since 2012 it would no longer be the amount of a child’s income and remuneration that T’s claim to maintenance against her husband was irrelevant.


The BFH also believes that the marriage of a child does not conflict with the child benefit entitlement. The revision of the family fund was rejected as unfounded.

The previous case law, according to which there is generally no entitlement to child benefit for a married child, was based on the assumption that child benefit is for children over 18 years of age "typical maintenance situation" on the part of the parents who are missing when the child is married or is in full-time employment during a transition or waiting period. However, the claim was retained if – e.g. in a student marriage – the spouse’s income was insufficient for the child’s full maintenance and the child himself also did not have sufficient funds (so-called lack of support).

Already in 2010, the BFH was more oriented towards the wording of the law (Section 32 (4) EStG) and the unwritten factual characteristic of "typical maintenance situation" given up (judgment v. June 17, 2010, III R 34/09, BStBl II 2010, 982). However, the BFH also denied the right to child benefit for married children because of the spouse’s primary maintenance obligation. The BFH has now abandoned this case law. The continuation of an income and earnings limit that is limited to married children would run counter to the administrative simplification aimed at abolishing the limit amount regulation.


Typically, the legislature assumed that the parents are no longer burdened with maintenance obligations if the child’s income and benefits exceed the threshold. With the removal of the limit from 2012, however, child benefit can also be claimed for a high-income child. The maintenance situation no longer matters. Therefore, the maintenance payments of the spouse of a married child can no longer matter.

in the dispute T had considerable own income (over EUR 8,300). The relief of the parents is therefore based not on the marriage and thus maintenance claims, but only on the child’s income. However, from 2012 these will no longer have to be taken into account. In such a case, it could not be justified to deny the child benefit claim solely because of the child’s marriage. The conflicting administrative regulation in DA-FamEStG 2013 section 31.2.2 paragraph 1, H 32.3 EStH is not to be adhered to.

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Christina Cherry
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