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Tax and Jill

27 January 2009 / Penny Bates
Issue: 4191 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , Inheritance Tax
PENNY BATES has tax planning points for unmarried couples


  • What is a ‘couple’ for tax purposes?
  • Can the partners’ estates be equalised?
  • Beware gifts with reservation.
  • Potential liabilities and the role of insurance.
  • The complications caused by children.
  • The use of life interest trusts and BPR.

An article in The Independent online dated October 2007 suggested that the number of unmarried couples had risen by 65% in 2006. (It is estimated that one in six couples living together do so outside of marriage or civil partnership).

The article went on to say that living with a partner is largely good for health particularly so for older single women! But is it good for tax?

First perhaps it would be useful to identify what a couple is for tax purposes.


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