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Income Tax

Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has commissioned any research into the Swedish method of taxation for unmarried couples.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proposals he has to enable co-habitants to be taxed on the same basis as married couples where the couples are: (a) male/female, (b) male/male, and (c) female/female.

The Government have no plans to allow unmarried couples to be taxed on the same basis as married couples. An unmarried couple who have a child living with them may qualify for an additional personal allowance, which will bring their total tax allowances to the same level as those available to a married couple.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the delay to the introduction of independent taxation which a revised policy allowing married couples to share the marriage allowance equally would entail.

A change in the rules for giving the married couple's allowance, so that couples could share the allowance equally between them, would delay the introduction of independent taxation for up to two years.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any surplus from a husband's marriage allowance will be automatically transferred to his wife in the new arrangements for married couple's allowance which are to be introduced in April 1990.

Transfer of surplus married couple's allowance to the wife will normally require her husband to give notice to the tax office. Without such a notice, the tax office will not necessarily know that the husband has, or may have, any surplus allowance.