Revenue Note for Guidance
This section enables a married couple to elect, or to be deemed to have elected, for the wife to be the assessable spouse in joint assessment cases. Provision is made in the section for the circumstances where this is to occur, the manner in which it is to occur, the withdrawal of an election under this section and the adaption of certain references in the Income Tax Acts.
(1) “basis year” is the year of marriage or, if earlier, the latest year before that year for which details of the incomes of both the spouses are available at the time they first elect or are deemed to elect for joint assessment under section 1017.
“year of marriage” is the year in which the marriage took place.
(2) A wife is assessable to income tax on both her own and her husband’s income where —
(3) Where a wife is the assessable spouse, references in the Income Tax Acts —
(4)(a) Where a wife is assessed to income tax on both incomes because she was earning the highest income in the basis year then —
(4)(b) Where a wife was the assessable spouse before an election for separate treatment (section 1018) or separate assessment (section 1023), she continues to be the assessable person on the move back to joint assessment.
(5) Where a married couple elect that the wife should be the assessable spouse for a year of assessment, then that election has effect for subsequent years unless it is withdrawn by the couple before the 1st of April in a subsequent year. Where the election is withdrawn by the couple, the husband becomes the assessable spouse (unless, of course, the couple opt for single treatment or separate assessment).
Relevant Date: Finance Act 2020