‘The marriage trap’ —​ income tax issues and joint ownership

By Elizabeth Field

If a married couple (or civil partners) jointly own an asset, then under the provisions of Income Tax Act 2007, the income from the asset is automatically assessed on them 50:50 for tax purposes. There are a number of exceptions, but where the rule applies the couple are liable to pay income tax on half the income, even if their beneficial interests in the property are unequal. 

Often couples have different incomes and pay income tax at different rates, so being taxed in equal shares may not be particularly tax efficient or practical. If they would prefer any income to be assessed on them in line with their actual interests in the property, the couple must make an election to HMRC…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Mills & Reeve briefing.

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