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Joint account: Whose interest?

By Mark McLaughlin, May 2021

Mark McLaughlin outlines the income tax treatment of joint accounts between family members. 

Bank or building society accounts are often held in the joint names of two or more family members. As a general rule, the person liable for tax on the interest credited is the person receiving or entitled to the interest.  

Spouses (and civil partners) 

However, where jointly held property is in the names of spouses living together, they are treated for income tax purposes as beneficially entitled to the income in equal shares.  

This ‘50:50 rule’ is subject to various exceptions. For example, where spouses are beneficially entitled to both the income and underlying asset in unequal shares (e.g. 70:30) if a valid joint declaration is submitted to HMRC within 60 days, each spouse is taxed on the income according to their

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