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Do you transfer money to your spouse’s account so he/she can meet personal expenses? Does that money earn an income? Or do you consider it loaned? Can you save tax by transferring money to wife’s account? Let’s understand how the income from such transfer is treated from an income tax standpoint.

Money is Invested in Shares or Fixed Deposits or other Assets

The shares may have been purchased in your wife’s name or fixed deposits made in her account – but the income from such fixed deposits or gains from the wife’s shares transactions shall be clubbed with your income. As per clubbing provisions of Income Tax, this is considered as your own income and taxed at slab rates applicable to you. Even if there are capital losses from sale, those get added too.

Money is considered Loaned

There could be a situation where you have genuinely transferred money to your wife’s account to meet her financial needs, for eg, to help her start a business. The amount is considered loaned and is planned to be returned and interest is charged as well. In case you are charging a reasonable interest and also showing this as your income in your return, income earned by your wife may not be clubbed.
However, in cases where amount is shown as loaned to your wife and she is investing that money in shares to earn an income, and thereby you end up saving significant tax by avoiding clubbing of income (gains) on shares, it may be hard to convince the tax authorities about the lender borrower arrangement, given the close relationship of the parties and the tax save involved. Usually in most cases – it’s misused as a tax saving avenue and that is what the tax authorities want to be careful of.

Only to meet Personal Expenses

When one of a couple is a homemaker and is not earning an income, it is common for this person to receive some money to take care of personal expenses. This has no income tax implication and is not considered an income in the receiver’s hands. However, any interest earned in the bank account may still be clubbed. Here’s a complete detail regarding clubbing of income, in case you need it.

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