The German Tax and the Support of your Wife's Family in the Philippines

Did you know already that the support you are paying for the family of your Filipina wife in the Philippines can be deducted from your income tax? 

If not, better read on: There is a paragraph in the German tax laws which says that support of the family of your wife in the Philippines can be deducted from your income tax. Up to EUR 2396 (Außergewöhnliche Belastung, see § 33 EStG) can be deducted per supported person. Supportable persons can be the parents and all brother and sisters as long as they are net yet 18 years old (Thanks for that information, Ana Vie).  All you need is a certificate from the Philippine City Hall where your family lives starting that they do not have any other income and depend solely on your support.  Well, up to a value of equivalent of EUR 200 can be earned as own income. We have requested that paper and got the following: (for the German translation have a look in the German chapter of this homepage.) :


Republic of the Philippines
Province  XYZ
Municipality of  "Name of City"
Office of the Mayor


To whom it may concern:

This is to certify that the couple, Mr. "Name of father" and Mrs. "Name of mother", parents of "Name of your wife", with legal age, nn1 years old and nn2 years old respectively living in "Name of place", San Vicente, Camarines Norte, Philippines, belong to the same family and deserve to be given support (financial of material).

This certifies further that they have no other resource for their means of livelihood.

Issued this xth day of Month 20yy  at  "Name of place",  City, Province, Philippines.


"Name of Mayor"
Municipal Mayor


Replace the quoted text with your correct data and ask your respective city hall to provide you with such a certificate. Once you have this you need to translate this into German (You may have a look at the German chapter for a translation of this paper). This translation usually has to be done by a certified translator, but on my remark, that every decently educated German should be able to understand and verify that my translation is correct, convinced my responsible tax officer to accept the translation without further hassle. The result was that 30% of the money I used to support the family of Lhiza was returned to me.

So collect all the bank notices about your money transfers to the Philippines and attach them to your tax declaration. When you get the money back, just remember to donate 10% of that to some social institutions working in or for the Philippines -:)

In case you are not able to get the above mentioned paper, there is still another possibility: 

When you are not able to get official documents proving the requirements for the support for the person living abroad, the tax office can allow own documents as well. This is documented in the letter of the BMF from 22.12.1994  (BStBl. 1994 I S. 928, T. 2.2.3). For instance in the Philippines in some remote areas it will not be possible to get such papers because there are no official offices available. In such cases the tax office has to accept your own affidavit as the prove that the family you are supporting rightfully deserves that support. i

Thanks for the info, Andrée