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Finance Act 1950

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31Consequences, as respects personal allowances, of exercise of option by husband or wife for separate assessment

(1)The provisions of this section shall have effect as respects personal reliefs where, by virtue of an application under Rule 17 of the General Rules, income tax for any year is to be assessable and chargeable on the incomes of a husband and a wife as if they were not married.

(2)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 the provisions of this subsection and of the next following subsection, 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 subsection (1) of section fifteen of the Finance Act, 1925, in respect of earned income, in proportion to the amounts of their respective earned incomes;

(b)so far as it flows from relief under subsection (2) of section fifteen of the Finance Act, 1925 (which relates to persons who, or whose wives, have attained a certain age), in proportion to the amounts of their respective total incomes;

(c)so far as it flows from relief under section thirty-two of the Income Tax Act, 1918 (which relates to life insurance premiums and other payments), to the husband or the wife according as he or she made the payment giving rise to the relief ;

(d)so far as it flows from relief in respect of a dependent relative under section twenty-two of the Finance Act, 1920, or relief in respect of a child under subsection (2) of section twenty-one of that Act, to the husband or the wife according as he or she maintains the relative or child;

(e)as to the balance, in proportion to the amounts of tax which would have been payable by them respectively if the only personal reliefs allowable had been the reliefs referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection:

Provided that, subject to the provisions of the next following subsection, the amount of reduction of tax allocated to the wife by virtue of paragraphs (a) to (e) of this subsection shall not be less than the minimum amount which, if no application under the said Rule 17 had had effect for that year, would, under subsection (3) of the last preceding section, have had to go to reduce 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 (2) of this section exceeds the tax (other than surtax) 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 the said subsection (2) exceeds the tax (other than surtax) 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 Commissioners of Inland Revenue are not satisfied with any such return, they may obtain a return from the wife or the husband, as the case may be.

(5)The Commissioners of Inland Revenue may require returns for the purposes of this section to be made at any time, and the provisions of the Income Tax Acts relating to penalties for neglect or refusal to deliver, or for delay in delivering, true and correct statements of profits or gains shall, with the necessary modifications, apply in the case of the neglect or refusal to make, or wilful delay in making, any such return.

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