Jul 2011 | Finance (No.3) Act 2011 - Civil Partners and Cohabitants

The legislation which gives effect to the taxation changes arising our of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 has now been enacted in Finance (No. 3) Act 2011. The changes in this tax legislation are effective from 1 January 2011.

The changes focus on equating a civil partner to a spouse in almost all instances, although advice should be taken to clarify where a civil partner is not 'on all fours' with a spouse. This is particularly the case when looking at who are relatives for tax purposes and in the case of 'separation agreements' for civil partners, see commentary on this second point reported at the Seanad debates.

In relation to a qualifying cohabitant, the reliefs for tax are only available to equate such a cohabitant to a spouse or a civil partner in relation to transfers made under the redress scheme permitted in the 2010 legislation and not to any transfers or other actions taken by way of agreement or consent (unless ruled by court).

Revenue have issued a series of FAQs in respect of how the legislation affects civil partners and separately in respect of how the legislation affects cohabitants.

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Aileen Keogan | Solicitor & Tax Consultant | 21 The Avenue | Louisa Valley | Leixlip | Co. Kildare | Ireland

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