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HMRC internal manual

Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual

Property held jointly by married couples or civil partners: Form 17 rule - declaration must reflect reality

Married couples and civil partners do not have a general option to have income taxed in any way they like. They can depart from the standard 50/50 split for tax purposes only where

  • each spouse or civil partner is in fact entitled to a share other than 50/50 in the property and
  • the share that a spouse or civil partner has in the income is the same as their share in the property

A declaration cannot be made where a husband and wife or civil partners own property as beneficial joint tenants. In these circumstances the couple do not own the property in shares at all, but are entitled jointly to the whole of both the property and the income. This is distinct from the situation where the husband and wife or civil partners own property as beneficial tenants in common where they are each entitled to specific shares in the property and the income arising.