Dáil Éireann - Volume 303 - 15 February, 1978

Written Answers. - Marital Separation Tax Allowance.

245. Mr. Keating asked the Minister for Finance the tax allowance position concerning maintenance money paid by a husband to his wife in the context of marital separation.

Minister for Finance (Mr. Colley): Where such payments are made pursuant to a Court order they are treated as an application of, and not a charge on, the husband's income. The husband is entitled to the married personal allowance if he shows that his separated wife is wholly maintained by him. The payments are not regarded as income of the wife.

Where payments are made under a voluntary agreement they are treated as annual payments by the husband from which tax is deductible. The wife receives the payments net of tax; she is regarded for tax purposes as a femme sole entitled to the single allowance and, if her total income is such that she is not liable to tax, she may claim repayment of the tax deducted. The husband is granted the single allowance instead of the married allowance.

I am at present considering whether any legislative change should be made in the position as outlined in order to achieve greater uniformity.