n South African Law Journal - The taxation of spousal and child maintenance arising from marital disputes and child maintenance orders : note

Volume 128, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



This note focuses on the taxation of spousal and child maintenance derived from court orders, agreements made in the context of matrimonial disputes and in terms of the Maintenance Act 98 of 1999 ('the Maintenance Act'). More particularly, the focus is on para () of the gross income definition (hereafter 'para ()') and s 10(1)() (hereafter 'para ()') of the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962 ('the Act'). The terms 'alimony or allowance or maintenance' used in these paragraphs mean essentially the same thing: the performance of a duty of support. Galgut J in ITC 920 (1959), 24 SATC 239 (T) at 242 held that the word 'allowance' was to be read eiusdem generis with the words 'alimony' and 'maintenance'. Similarly, 'alimony' was 'a personal allowance ordered by the court in substitution for a husband's obligation to support his wife' (ITC 966 (1962) 24 SATC 718 (F) at 719). Therefore, 'allowance' meant something akin to maintenance or alimony (ibid at 720). Consequently, I will simply refer to 'maintenance' rather than the ungainly term used in the legislation.

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