Marriage and civil partnerships

Separate treatment

Under separate treatment you, and your spouse or civil partner, are taxed as if you were not married or in a civil partnership. Separate treatment can be referred to as ‘single assessment’.

You and your spouse or civil partner:

You cannot transfer your unused tax credits, reliefs and rate bands to your spouse or civil partner. This is the main difference between separate treatment and separate assessment.

You cannot claim the Home Carer Tax Credit if you are assessed under separate treatment.

Separate treatment may not be the best choice for you. It may result in you paying more tax as a couple than you would with separate assessment or joint assessment. This will happen if either of you do not earn enough to use all your personal tax credits, reliefs or rate bands.

How to request separate treatment

You can update your civil status and request separate treatment through ‘Manage My Record’ or ‘My Profile’ in  myAccount. You can also upload any supporting documentation. Your spouse will be required to confirm the request by signing into myAccount and confirming the status update. Alternatively, you can put your request in writing to Revenue.

The request must be made within the year you want separate treatment to apply. 

When you request separate treatment, it cannot be backdated and it will last until you request to change it. The spouse or civil partner who made the request must also be the one to withdraw it.

Next: How your partner's residence affects your tax