Do more for stay-at-home mums in tax relief

It is the tax season again.

Every year, I cannot help but feel that the contributions of stay-at-home mums do not get as much recognition as other groups.

Currently, Spouse Relief of $2,000 is the second-lowest personal tax relief. It is lower than the active NSman relief ($3,000), Grandparent Caregiver Relief ($3,000), Qualifying Child Relief ($4,000 per child), and Parent Relief ($5,500 or $9,000 per parent). Only the Inactive NSman relief ($1,500) is lower.

Ironically, even the Foreign Maid Levy Relief is potentially more.

On the other hand, a working mother enjoys the Working Mother's Child Relief of at least 15 per cent of her earned income, up to 25 per cent for a third child.

Surely as a nation, we can do more in terms of taxation to recognise the contributions of the women who chose to give up so much in order to stay at home to nurture our next generation of citizens?

Teo Hong Siang (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2018, with the headline 'Do more for stay-at-home mums in tax relief'. Print Edition | Subscribe