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HMRC internal manual

Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Property held jointly by married couples or civil partners: Overview: explanation of terms

Property

‘Property’ includes land and buildings, savings accounts, shares (but see exclusion in TSEM9822) and intellectual property.

For further detail, see TSEM6005-6016 for the legal background to types of property, ‘real’ and ‘personal’.

Held in the names of individuals who are married to, or are civil partners of, each other

A married couple or civil partners may hold property separately, or in their joint names. The use of ‘names’ means this legislation applies only to property held in joint names.

If property is held in the name of only one spouse or civil partner the special rules do not apply.

Where a husband and wife or civil partners are entitled to property and the income from it, but the property is held in the name of a nominee, then it’s not ‘property held by a married couple or civil partners. living together’, and the special rules do not apply

Sometimes a married couple or civil partners hold assets jointly with others. The 50/50 rule does not apply in such cases. It applies only to income arising from property held in the names of individuals who are married to, or who are civil partners of, each other, and who live together. That excludes for example, a bank account held in the name of Mr and Mrs A and Mr B.

Living together

The meaning of this phrase is as given in ITA/ S1011:

Individuals who are married to, or are civil partners of, each other are treated

for the purposes of the Income Tax Acts as living together unless:

  • (a) they are separated under an order of a court of competent jurisdiction,
  • (b) they are separated by deed of separation, or
  • (c) they are in fact separated in circumstances in which the separation is likely to be permanent.

Where a married couple or civil partners are separated the separated spouses or civil partners are taxed on their actual entitlement to income.