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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: Public acknowledgement

If two people who live together have represented themselves as a couple to others this may be an indication that they are living together as husband and wife (LTAHAW) or as civil partners (LTACP), although this is not conclusive. Two people who are a couple may by choice not want to be publicly acknowledged as a couple for personal reasons.

Relevant factors may be:

  • whether both members use the same surname
  • whether family, friends, neighbours, social workers, employers, schools, childcare providers (or any other people) regard them as a couple
  • if they take part in social activities together
  • if they are joint members of clubs/leisure centres/societies
  • whether they plan and organise their lives jointly
  • if they are represented as a couple:

    • on the electoral register
    • in claiming benefits
    • in obtaining accommodation

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