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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: Sexual relationship

A sexual relationship between a couple may be a factor to be considered when deciding if two people are living together as husband and wife (LTAHAW) or living together as civil partners (LTACP). But evidence of a sexual relationship does not, on its own, mean that two people should be classed as LTAHAW or LTACP. Similarly, two people may be LTAHAW or LTACP without having a sexual relationship. Any information disclosed by a claimant concerning their sexual relationship should be considered in deciding whether they are LTAHAW or LTACP, but you cannot ask about their sexual relationship.

In one particular appeal case the Social Security Commissioner said that where there has never been a sexual relationship between the parties, strong alternative grounds are needed to reach the conclusion that the relationship is akin to husband and wife (or civil partners). However, absence of a sexual relationship where there has been one in the past is not itself indicative that the couple are not LTAHAW or LTACP.

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