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Portuguese Civil Code


Portuguese Civil Code

Portuguese Civil Code refers to a common feature which is available in all the Income Tax Return (ITR) forms which are applicable to individuals, that require taxpayers to state the applicability with the Code. This mandatory column, which was introduced in AY 2013-14, applies to residents located in the State of Goa and the Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Dui. This article is an overview of the provisions of the Income Tax Act which relate to the Portuguese Civil code.

Portuguese Code

  • Portuguese Civil Code falls among the particulars to be stated in all returns meant for usage by individuals and HUFs. The provision mandates taxpayers to confirm whether or not they are governed by Portuguese Civil Code under Section 5A.
  • The detail of the Portuguese Civil Code pertains to the State of Goa, as well as the Union Territories of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu. The State of Goa, as well as the Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, were ruled by the Portuguese for a long period, say about 400 years or more. The state of affairs ended with the intervention of the Indian Army in the year 1961. Despite the cessation of the regime, the Portuguese Civil law continues to apply to these jurisdictions.
  • Section 5A of the Income-Tax Act and the Portuguese Civil Code rules suggest that the income earned by the husband and wife is equally apportioned between them. The income so apportioned would be separately included in the total income of husband and the wife, respectively. However, the provision does not include salary income, which would be taxed individually.

Marriages under the Code

Since the regulation is centred around the income of the spouses, the following points provide an overview of the governing laws concerning marriage prescribed by the Portuguese Civil Code:

  • Community Property Law
  • Absolute Separation of Property
  • Separation of assets existing before marriage and communion of the property after the time of solemnisation of the marriage
  • Dotal Regime.

Community Property Law

Community Property Law is executed in the absence of an express contract, which effectively means that most of the marriages in these locales are governed by this Law. The law provides for sharing the money earned by either of the spouses during the marital years. On the same note, properties procured by these earnings are considered as community property, owned equally by the husband and wife. The system of community property is also applicable for the losses incurred between the couple. Absolute separation, as the name suggests, vests the ownership of properties to each of the spouses based on the way it was before marriage. The last one among the list, the Dotal Regime is, according to Merriam-Webster, “The right and power of a husband under civil law to administer during his life his wife’s dotal property under the rules of law safeguarding its return upon the dissolution of marriage by death or other cause.” To put it in simple words, the provision renders husbands with the rights over the property of the wife, in which case he would be required to return it on account of the dissolution of marriage or death. These provisions are applicable to the residents of these locales irrespective of their religious background and the laws concerning each of them.