Married couples and civil partners

There was a time when HMRC regarded a married couple as a joint entity for taxation. Under that scheme, personal allowances that were not “used up” by one partner, could be transferred to the other partner. In the main this is no longer true, with two main changes to the direction of taxation policy.

  • People are taxed as individuals. Personal allowances are no longer transferrable.
  • Civil partnerships attract the same treatment as married couples.
  • Income can be derived from shared ownership eg dividends from a company in which both partners have shares or rental income from a property in shared ownership. The policy being to attribute income inline with ownership. If one partner owns say 75 of the shares in a company with the other owning 25%, then dividends ought to be attributed 75/25 to the relevant partners taxation liability.


The main carry over from this is for married couples who are 75+ years old. I have no idea why this has been carried forward. Those of this age can continue to transfer the allowance if they live together or one supports the other.