Revenue Note for Guidance

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Revenue Note for Guidance

1031H Application for separate assessments


Separate assessment is an option open to civil partners. This section sets out how it is to apply and provides for the application of income tax provisions to the civil partners as if they were not in a registered civil partnership, while at the same time ensuring that they do not —

  • lose out on personal reliefs, and
  • pay more tax than they would if they had been assessed together.

While either civil partner may send a return for both incomes, the Revenue Commissioners may, where they are not satisfied, require a further return from either civil partner.



(1)personal reliefs” are defined, for the purposes of this section and section 1031I as relief under any of the provisions specified in the Table in section 458, apart from relief for certain widowed persons, one-parent families and widowed parents (sections 461A, 462B and 463).

Application for separate assessment

(2) Civil partners, who have elected to be jointly assessed to tax on their combined incomes, may, if either of them applies in the manner and form prescribed by the Revenue Commissioners, have their incomes separately assessed and charged to tax for the year of assessment (to which the application relates) as if they were not civil partners of each other.

In such circumstances, the provisions of the Income Tax Acts with respect to the assessment, charge and recovery of tax apply as if they were not civil partners, except that —

  • the total amount of personal reliefs allowed to the civil partners is to be the same as if they were not separately assessed,
  • the total tax payable by the civil partners for that year is to be the same as if they had not been separately assessed, and
  • the provisions for apportioning the personal reliefs between the civil partners and on charging tax on the income of each civil partner apply as set out in section 1031I.

(3) In applying for separate assessment, the application must be made —

  • in the case of civil partners who register a civil partnership during the course of a year, before the 1st of April of the following year,
  • in any other case, within 6 months before the 1 st of April in the particular year of assessment.

(4) An application for separate assessment has effect for the year in which it is made and for all subsequent years of assessment. If, however, this application is withdrawn by written notice before the 1 st of April in any subsequent year, the couple will not be separately assessed for the year in which the application is withdrawn or for any subsequent year of assessment.

An application for separate assessment can only be withdrawn by the civil partner who made the original application.

Income tax returns

(5) A return of the total incomes of the civil partners may be made by either one of the civil partners but if the Revenue Commissioners are not satisfied with the return they may require a return to be made by the civil partners, as the case may be.

(6) The Revenue Commissioners may by notice require returns to be made at any time.

Relevant Date: Finance Act 2021