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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

Decision Making, Joint or Single claims, Considerations when deciding if two people should be treated as a couple: Financial support

For two people to be living together as husband and wife (LTAHAW) or as civil partners (LTACP) it is reasonable to expect either some degree of sharing of household costs or one partner to be supporting the other financially to some extent. Relevant factors to consider include:

  • Do they have joint accounts or investments?
  • Is one person financially supported by the other?
  • How is the household income shared or used?
  • Are their resources pooled in a common fund? Is this all their income or only the money for e.g. shopping or bills?
  • Is one person bearing the major share of the household expenses, for example mortgage, rent, gas, electricity? Whose name is on the bills?
  • Is the property jointly owned and whose name is the mortgage in?
  • Have these financial arrangements always been the same or have they changed? If so, how and when?

Strong financial links between partners, particularly over a long period, may suggest they are LTAHAW or LTACP. However, a couple may keep their finances completely separate and still be regarded as LTAHAW or LTACP, so their relationship must be looked at in its entirety. A former partner may still have a financial connection depending on their personal circumstances.

Note: this indicator should not be used in isolation as all factors should be considered as outlined in TCTM09341.