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Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988

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Separate assessments

283Option for separate assessment

(1)If, within six months before the 6th July in any year of assessment for which his income would include any of hers, a husband or a wife makes an application for the purpose in such manner and form as the Board may prescribe, income tax for that year shall be assessed, charged and recovered on the income of the husband and on the income of the wife as if they were not married, and all the provisions of the Income Tax Acts with respect to the assessment, charge and recovery of income tax shall, save as otherwise provided by those Acts, apply as if they were not married.

(2)Notwithstanding an application under subsection (1) above the income of the husband and the wife shall be treated as one in estimating total income; and the amount of tax payable by each of them shall be ascertained by first dividing between them, in proportion to the amounts of their respective incomes, the amount that would be payable by them if no reliefs were given under Chapter I or III of this Part and then applying section 284 to give effect to those reliefs.

(3)Subject to subsection (4) below, an application duly made by a husband or wife under subsection (1) above shall have effect, not only as respects the year of assessment for which it is made, but also for any subsequent year of assessment.

(4)A person who has made any such application for any year of assessment may give, for any subsequent year of assessment, a notice to withdraw that application, and where such a notice is given, the application shall not have effect with respect to the year for which the notice is given or any subsequent year.

(5)A notice of withdrawal under subsection (4) above shall be in such form, and be given in such manner, as may be prescribed by the Board, and shall not be valid unless it is given within the period allowed by law for making, for the year for which the notice is given, applications similar to that to which the notice relates.

284Effect of separate assessment on personal reliefs

(1)Where, by virtue of an application under section 283(1), income tax for any year of assessment is to be assessable and chargeable on the incomes of a husband and wife as if they were not married, the total relief given to the husband and the wife by way of personal reliefs shall be the same as if the application had not had effect with respect to the year and, subject to subsections (2) and (3) below, the reduction of tax flowing from the personal reliefs shall be allocated to the husband and the wife—

(a)so far as it flows from relief under section 273 or Chapter III of this Part, to the husband or the wife according as he or she made the payment giving rise to the relief;

(b)so far as it flows from relief in respect of a dependent relative under section 263 or relief in respect of a son or daughter under section 264, to the husband or the wife according as he or she maintains the relative or son or daughter; and

(c)as to the balance, in proportion to the amounts of tax which would have been payable by them respectively if no personal reliefs had been allowable.

(2)Subject to subsection (3) below, the amount of reduction of tax allocated to the wife by virtue of subsection (1) above shall not be less than the reduction resulting from section 279(5) in the tax chargeable in respect of her earned income, and the amount of reduction of tax allocated to the husband shall be correspondingly reduced.

(3)Where the amount of reduction of tax allocated to the husband under subsection (1) above exceeds the tax chargeable on the income of the husband for the year of assessment, the balance shall be applied to reduce the tax chargeable on the income of the wife for that year; and where the amount of reduction of tax allocated to the wife under that subsection exceeds the tax chargeable on her income for the year of assessment, the balance shall be applied to reduce the tax chargeable on the income of the husband for that year.

(4)Returns of the total incomes of the husband and the wife may be made for the purposes of this section either by the husband or by the wife, but, if the Board are not satisfied with any such return, they may obtain a return from the wife or the husband, as the case may be.

(5)In this section “personal reliefs” means the reliefs provided for by Chapters I and III of this Part.

285Collection from wife of tax assessed on husband but attributable to her income

(1)Where—

(a)an assessment to income tax (“the original assessment”) is made on a man, or on a man’s trustee, guardian, curator, receiver or committee, or on a man’s executors or administrators; and

(b)the Board are of opinion that, if an application for separate assessment under section 283(1) had been in force with respect to the year for which the assessment is made, an assessment (“the potential assessment”) in respect of, or of part of, the same income would have fallen to be made on, or on the trustee, guardian, curator, receiver or committee of, or on the executors or administrators of, a woman who is that man’s wife, or was his wife in that year of assessment; and

(c)the whole or part of the amount payable under the original assessment has remained unpaid at the expiration of 28 days from the time when it became due;

the Board may serve on her, or, if she is dead, on her executors or administrators, or, if the potential assessment could in the event referred to in paragraph (b) above have been made on her trustee, guardian, curator, receiver or committee, on her or on her trustee, guardian, curator, receiver or committee, a notice—

(i)giving particulars of the original assessment, and of the amount remaining unpaid thereunder, and

(ii)giving particulars, to the best of their judgment, of the potential assessment,

and requiring the person on whom the notice is served to pay the amount which would have been payable under the potential assessment if it conformed with those particulars, or the amount remaining unpaid under the original assessment, whichever is the less.

(2)The same consequences as respects—

(a)the imposition of a liability to pay, and the recovery of, the tax, with or without interest; and

(b)priority for the tax in bankruptcy, or in the administration of the estate of a deceased person; and

(c)appeals to the General or Special Commissioners, and the stating of cases for the opinion of the High Court; and

(d)the ultimate incidence of the liability imposed,

shall follow on the service of a notice under subsection (1) above on a woman, or on her trustee, guardian, curator, receiver or committee, or on her executors or administrators, as would have followed on the making on her, or on her trustee, guardian, curator, receiver or committee, or on her executors or administrators, as the case may be, of the potential assessment, being an assessment which—

(i)was made on the day of the service of the notice, and

(ii)charged the same amount of income tax as is required to be paid by the notice, and

(iii)fell to be made, and was made, by the authority who made the original assessment, and

(iv)was made by that authority to the best of their judgment,

and the provisions of the Income Tax Acts relating to the matters specified in paragraphs (a) to (d) above shall, with the necessary adaptations, have effect accordingly.

(3)Where an appeal against the original assessment has been heard in whole or in part by the Special Commissioners, any appeal from the notice under subsection (1) above shall be an appeal to the Special Commissioners, and where an appeal against the original assessment has been heard in whole or in part by the General Commissioners for any division, any appeal from the notice shall be an appeal to the General Commissioners for that division.

(4)Where a notice is given under subsection (1) above—

(a)income tax up to the amount required to be paid by the notice shall cease to be recoverable under the original assessment, and

(b)where the tax charged by the original assessment carried interest under section 86 of the Management Act, such adjustment shall be made of the amount payable under that section in relation to that assessment, and such repayment shall be made of any amounts previously paid under that section in relation thereto, as are necessary to secure that the total sum, if any, paid or payable under that section in relation to that assessment is the same as it would have been if the amount which ceases to be recoverable had never been charged.

(5)Where the amount payable under a notice given under subsection (1) above is reduced as the result of an appeal, or of the stating of a case for the opinion of the High Court—

(a)the Board shall, if in the light of that result they are satisfied that the original assessment was excessive, cause such relief to be given by way of repayment or otherwise as appears to them to be just, but

(b)subject to any relief so given, a sum equal to the reduction in the amount payable under the notice shall again become recoverable under the original assessment.

(6)The Board and the inspector shall have the like powers of obtaining information with a view to the giving of, and otherwise in connection with, a notice under subsection (1) above as they would have had with a view to the making of, and otherwise in connection with, the potential assessment if the necessary conditions had been fulfilled for the making of such an assessment.

286Right of husband to disclaim liability for tax on deceased wife’s income

(1)Where a woman dies who at any time before her death was a married woman living with her husband, he or, if he is dead, his executors or administrators, may, not later than two months from the date of the grant of probate or letters of administration in respect of her estate or, with the consent of her executors or administrators, at any later date, serve on her executors or administrators and on the inspector a notice declaring that, to the extent permitted by this section, he disclaims or they disclaim responsibility for unpaid income tax in respect of all income of hers for any year of assessment or part of a year of assessment during which he was her husband and she was living with him.

(2)A notice under subsection (1) above shall not be deemed to be validly served on the inspector unless it specifies the names and addresses of the woman’s executors or administrators.

(3)Where a notice under subsection (1) above has been duly served on a woman’s executors or administrators and on the inspector—

(a)it shall be the duty of the Board to exercise such powers as they may then or thereafter be entitled to exercise under section 285 in connection with any assessment made on or before the date when the service of the notice is completed, being an assessment in respect of any of the income to which the notice relates; and

(b)the assessments (if any) which may be made after that date shall in all respects, and in particular as respects the persons assessable and the tax payable, be the assessments which would have fallen to be made if—

(i)an application for separate assessment under section 283(1) had been in force in respect of the year of assessment in question; and

(ii)all assessments previously made had been made accordingly.

(4)In the application of this section to Scotland, the reference to the date of the grant of probate or letters of administration shall be construed as a reference to the date of confirmation.

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