Tax implications of entering into a marriage or civil partnership
Produced in partnership with David Salter, deputy High Court judge and Recorder
Tax implications of entering into a marriage or civil partnership

The following Family practice note Produced in partnership with David Salter, deputy High Court judge and Recorder provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Tax implications of entering into a marriage or civil partnership
  • Principal tax consequences
  • Income tax
  • Inheritance tax (IHT)
  • Capital gains tax (CGT)

The tax consequences of civil partnership are identical to those of marriage.

A party is treated as married or as a civil partner for UK tax purposes, if they have been through a formal marriage or civil partnership ceremony, or from 10 December 2014 converted their civil partnership into a marriage by formal declaration. Living together or common law arrangements do not count as a marriage/civil partnership, except under Scottish law under which a marriage by habit and repute is regarded as a legal marriage once there has been a declaration before the Court of Session.

The income tax and capital gains tax (CGT) legislation refers to spouses/civil partners who are 'living together'. This does not necessarily mean in the same house or even the same country: it includes all spouses/civil partners, unless they are separated under an order of a court or a formal deed of separation executed under seal (except in Scotland where the deed should be witnessed), or they are in fact separated in such circumstances that the separation is likely to be permanent. Therefore, it effectively only excludes relationships that have broken down.

The rules set out below apply to individuals who are UK-resident and domiciled. In this context, it should be noted that, until 1 January 1974, a wife took her husband’s domicile on marriage.

Note that under English law, marriage/civil partnership invalidates

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