What is the income tax treatment for a separated couple?
Once the parties have separated, i.e., have begun living apart, each reverts, for tax purposes, to single assessment. Each can claim a one parent family tax credit and the single parent rate band provided the claimants have not remarried and they are not cohabiting. A non-custodial spouse can get the one parent family credit and the single parent rate band, but must ensure the separate on agreement records that the children can and do stay for at least one night of the year. There is a tax deduction for maintenance payable to an ex-spouse, but not for maintenance payable in respect of children. Payments in respect of children are made gross, i.e., without deduction of tax. Even if separated or divorced, both parties can still elect, at any time in the tax year, to be jointly assessed for that year.