May 05, 2011

Accountants are frequently asked two questions by couples just about to get married: 'Are there are any tax implications once we tie the knot?' and 'Do we need to start doing joint tax returns?'

Your wedding day is a special day. So I'm perplexed as to why on earth the bride and groom are thinking about the ATO during such an exciting time in their lives!

You don't need to worry about tax in the lead up to your impending nuptials. Unless you are involved in a business together, you don't have to lodge a combined tax return. Any share of joint investments, such as interest, dividends and rental properties, is still recorded separately in your respective tax returns.

You don't have to lodge a combined tax return if you're married. Any joint income is recorded separately in your respective tax returns.

You do need to show on your return that you now have a spouse, and disclose his or her taxable income each year. Your combined income is taken into account if you don't have private health insurance (an extra 1 per cent Medicare levy is charged if you earn over $140 000 combined) as well as when calculating Family Assistance Office benefits such as the baby bonus, child care rebates and family tax benefits.

If you elect to change your name, you can notify the tax office simply by noting it on the front cover of your next return. You don't need to provide any certified documents.

According to the ATO, the definition of spouse has been extended so that both de facto relationships and registered relationships are now recognised. Your 'spouse' is another person (whether of the same sex or opposite sex) who:

  • is in a relationship with you and is registered under a prescribed state or territory law
  • although not legally married to you, lives with you on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple.

Since 1 July 2009, people living in same-sex relationships have been treated in the same way as heterosexual couples for tax purposes. The ATO has outlined some of the tax concessions now open to samesex couples, including:

  • Medicare levy reduction or exemption
  • Medicare levy surcharge
  • 20 per cent tax offset on net medical expenses over threshold
  • dependant tax offset
  • invalid relative tax offset
  • pensioner tax offset
  • education tax refund
  • spouse super contributions tax offset
  • main residence exemption for capital gains tax.

It is not unusual to find a couple where each owns a main residence that was acquired before they met. However, spouses are only entitled to one main residence exemption for capital gains tax (CGT) purposes between them. If both members of a couple each own a main residence they must either:

  • select one residence for the exemption
  • apportion the CGT exemption between the two residences.

Provided the homes meet the requirements for the main residence exemption, they will both be wholly exempt from CGT for the period prior to the couple being treated as spouses. However, from the time the couple became spouses, only one exemption is available, although this may be divided between
the two dwellings.


Mary bought a house in 1992. She lived in it right up to the day she married Matthew in 2006 and moved into his house, which he purchased in 2000. As they elected to treat Matthew's house as their main residence, Mary will be subject to CGT on her house from 2006.

She will not be liable for CGT on any capital growth in the 14 years prior to becoming Matthew's spouse.

Tags: 101 WaysFamily

Author: Mr Taxman


"I can't distinguish whether the two dot points both have to be true for it to be a de facto relationship. Am I in a de facto relationship if it is not registered? The second dot point is true but not the first"

By: Tristan on Jul 18, 2012 12:10PM

"Yes Tristan, you are still in a de facto relationship if the second dot point is true. Simply put: The first means that you have a legally recognised/civil union and live together as husband and wife/husband and husband/wife and wife The second means that you live together as a couple"

By: Christian on Jul 24, 2012 2:01AM

"I have two children aged 11 and 14 and I have 50% care I'm divorced and live in my own small 3 bedroom home as a single person. I qualify for about $4000 in family tax benefits and school bonus. My partner has a 7 year old daughter 100% of the time and qualifies for about $5000 in family tax and also child care rebate and rents a place on her own. We both work full time and earn just under $100,000 each. If we live together we lose all the above and will have to pay medicare surcharges. Why would I not simply move in with her as a tenant whom she sublets it to me being my place is too small and still do our taxes as singles. How would the tax man prove otherwise?"

By: James Eason on Aug 10, 2015 12:17PM

"How would I attempt to get the ato to investigate my ex partners financials in regards to child support? Is what they do to hide their assets and income even legitimate ? Is there somehow a way to start the ato looking into a parent who claims to only earn less than 20 k, owns properties, businesses, pays mortgages, cars, supports his wife and children etc but doesn't receive any support payments for being on a low income and of course paying less than 1$ a day in child support? It is pretty low of people to avoid supporting their child/ children, when they obviously can. Their child/ children are the ones they are cheating. "

By: Leo on Jan 13, 2014 1:11PM

"Just trying to understand I lodge my tax return online using etax. I also included my wife details and mentioned her gross income. Now does she also also need to goto her own etax and do the same? (mention her details and show mine) or me just doing it was sufficient? and she does nothing. "

By: David on Jul 26, 2016 6:25AM

"If interest on loan to purchase house was used to justify negative gearing, can it still be counted against capital gain when it comes time to sell?"

By: Matthew Fimeri on Jul 10, 2018 12:31AM

"I've been searching the ATO website but cant find a clear answer. My boyfriend and I live together (together 2 years, living together almost 1). We have a couples health insurance policy. However, my partner is still technically married to his wife (the divorce is on foot). Do I need to list him as my spouse because we do live together on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship, even though he is married to someone else? Presumably his wife will nominate him as her partner on her tax return... Thanks for any help."

By: Sarah on Jul 26, 2012 6:27AM

"My understanding Sarah is that you would include him as your defacto spouse. His estranged wife would no longer have him as her spouse as they are separated, despite not being divorced."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 26, 2012 11:06AM

"I got married last December and we both have children from other relationships. I have two investment properties from before we were married, which are negatively geared. I work part time and have a salary sacrifice arrangement, whilst my husband earns a much larger income (and pays more tax). Is there any way that he can claim my investment properties off his taxable income instead of me doing so - they are in my name but our finances are joined. I am quite confused by this! Thanks"

By: Rachael on Jul 27, 2012 7:22AM

"Unfortunately you wil need to claim the rental properties in your income tax return still Rachael as the properties are owned by you. If you transferred the properties into your husband's name then you would attract stamp duty which is pretty large & would negate any tax benefit."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 27, 2012 7:30AM

"Would rachael and husband be entitled to an exemption on transfer duty as its a transfer between spouses or is this only available for transfer into joint names of principle place of residence? Cheers"

By: Chantelle on Jan 02, 2013 9:59AM

"More of a conveyancing question this one & depends on which state that you live. I understand that in NSW there is exemption of stamp duty under certain circumstances."

By: Mr Taxman on Jan 07, 2013 10:13PM

"Husband and I got married last Nov. We're both on decent incomes (120k and 200k). My tax is simple as I have no investment property's where as he's got couple of investment pptys still being paid off. Is there any benefit for us doing a combined tax return or should I we do it individiual. If individually, do I still need to put my husband down as a spouse? Thanks. "

By: Mary on Sep 20, 2012 5:10AM

"There is no combined tax return - you still need to do individual returns each year. You will need to show that you are each other's spouse in your respective tax returns & your combined income with then be assessed for a few threshold tests primarily for family tax benefits & medicare levy surcharge."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 29, 2012 12:30AM

"My scenario is as follows: I haved owned a property since 2006 (iniitally lived in it for 6 months then rented out). It is coming up to 6 year anniversary and I am wanting to move back into this property and live in in for a short period of time (1 month) then move back out and rent out the property again. 'Will this reset the 6 year rule? Another question I have is that I got married in 2010 and my wife had a property in her name already. Just wanted to know if I decided to sell my investment propety (using the 6 year rule) in say the next year and nominate it as my Primary residence in order to not pay CGT, then in say 5 years time my wife sells her property (that is under her name only), can we nominate both properties as primary residents and avoid CGT (both properties being sold at different points in time, my property potentially being sold in a years time and my wifes in say possibly 5 years time)? Hope my 2 questions above make sense. Look forward to your reply. Kind Regards Jerry"

By: Jerry on Oct 18, 2012 11:29PM

"You cannot get a double up of the 6 year exemption - that is, only once. Also there are a few private rulings from teh ATO with respect to husband & wife both claiming principal place of residence ... generally you cannot both claim but depends on circumstances."

By: Mr Taxman on Nov 09, 2012 2:11PM

"contradicting info from the ATO website: Moving out of your home more than once Your circumstances may change so, if you move back into your home after it has been rented out and subsequently move out again, a new six-year period commences from the time you last moved out. There is no limit to the number of times you can do this provided you do not nominate another home to be CGT exempt and each absence is less than six years. "

By: dylan on Apr 01, 2013 7:24AM

"Me and my wife have both sold units in a managed fund which we have held for a couple of years and each made a little capital gain. We have each held a seperate account. Can we declare both gains on her tax return or do we have to divide it according to the accounts that we both held? She did not earn much other income through the year while I earned around $150k."

By: Gert on Oct 23, 2012 3:10AM

"You will need to allocate the capital gain in both of your returns."

By: Mr Taxman on Nov 09, 2012 2:12PM

"Hi,I am confused with my married situation in regards to medicare levy surcharge. I just got married Sept 2011 and I did not have private health insurance although my salary is above the threshold. I am aware that I would need to pay the medicare levy surcharge in tax return 2012. But my husband always have private health all along before and after married. So I would not expect him to pay medicare levy surcharge. But when we filled in the e-tax separately, he has to pay 1% medicare levy surcharge since the day we got married until the end of financial year, which was 10 months in total, because I as his spouse, did not have private health insurance. And on my e-tax, I also have to pay 1% medicare levy surcharge for the whole year (both my life before and after married). Is this right? I don't think it is fair that we have to pay 1% medicare levy surcharge twice. I can accept that I have to pay, but not my husband. Thanks in advance for your help. Regards."

By: Yulie on Oct 25, 2012 12:52AM

"I don't think it is fair either but that is the rules that the Government devised when they brought in this surcharge. I have also seen where both husband & wife have cover but forget to include newborn child & they get hit for the 1% surcharge which is absolutely ludicrous."

By: Mr Taxman on Nov 09, 2012 2:14PM

"I am the same. I have had private health and married someone who has not got it. So is worth me having it as I have never claimed on it. So do I now pay the levy and he pays it as well. Also I have no idea what his earnings are. So how do I lodge a tax return as when I went to do it she asked me and I did not no."

By: Kim on Feb 20, 2014 3:59PM

"It's not just the medicare levy you/your spouse will pay twice. I was using the etax calculator to work out my estimate and realised that if I did not disclose my spouse's income, I will get a higher tax return(extra $400 refund & $500 less on Medicare levy). So is our taxation system fair??? We have paid tax on our earnings so why do we pay tax again on our spouse's income? Here are the list of taxes Aust individuals have paid: - income tax - GST, stamp duties - medicare levy - fire levy - flood levy - land tax - capital gains tax - tax on your savings & shares (incl. term deposits) - spouse's income does affect your estimate results - 15% tax on your superannuation Our income tax should be lowered to cover for all the other taxes we have to pay. Government is always encouraging us to save for the future but how can we if we are getting taxed on our hard earned savings. "

By: Teresa on Oct 31, 2016 11:21AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, My husband and i own a property that has been our primary residence, but will soon become an investment property for us. This property was bought in my name only originally. Is my husband able to claim the income and tax deductions from this property against his income? If not, am i able to 'sell' my husband a part of the property to allow him to claim it or do we have to transfer the entire property into both our names incurring the full stamp duty costs? Thanks"

By: Kat on Oct 28, 2012 1:40PM

"If yuo own the property then the rent & associated deductions will need to go in your tax return. You could transfer it to your husband but that will attract stamp duty which will pretty much negate any tax benefit. My understanding of the Duties Act 1997/section 104B is that as a result of the transfer or agreement "when the property is or will be held by a married couple or de facto partners as joint tenants or as tenants in common in equal shares" then this transfer is exempt from duty. ie. from one name into two names incurs no stamp duty."

By: Mr Taxman on Nov 09, 2012 2:18PM

"Hi Mr Taxman. I may be in a situation similar to that of Yulie, who posted above. My partner and I entered into a defacto relationship in November 2011, and declared this on our respective tax returns. She was on a one year working visa, she is from the UK. She got a huge return, whereas for some reason I have a huge liability. Is the fact that we were defacto for the second half of the financial year causing me to now have a liability? Is there not a threshold our incomes have to meet for there to be any affects? A further factor to consider is that I had private health cover throughout the year, she did not. Many thanks. "

By: Mark on Nov 10, 2012 4:21PM

"I would need to look at your income tax assessments and actually submitted tax returns rather than try to make an educated guess."

By: Mr Taxman on Nov 20, 2012 11:03AM

"I am getting married next year. My fiance and I both live and work in Spain and pay taxes to the Spanish government. Will our taxes go up or down when we get married? Thanks!"

By: Katy Miller on Nov 27, 2012 12:00PM

"Sorry but I have no idea about the Spanish tax system ... if it is like the Australian one then there would be no change. Congratulations & I hope you have a long and happy life together."

By: Mr Taxman on Nov 27, 2012 9:33PM

"My partner and I have been together for 3 years and have been living together for 2. I want to file my tax return recognising him as my defacto partner. I have a specific reason for this - if we file together I won't have to pay the medicare levi surcharge. Sadly, I misjudged my income this year and didn't take out private health insurance. The only problem is that I never changed my address, I left it as my parents house as I go there often and there really is no point... We bought a house together recently (settlement soon) and have evidence that during the last tax year we applied for bank loan approval together. Do we qualify as defacto? "

By: tammy on Nov 29, 2012 9:13AM

"Given that you have lived together for 2 years then yes you would be considered defacto. However I suggest that you find as much evidence that you actually lived together including rental leases or any other documentation showing the same residental address otherwise the ATO may become suspiciious of your intentions."

By: Mr Taxman on Dec 10, 2012 7:33AM

"Hello There.. I have just recently got married and am buying an investment property with my husband. I also found out that he has arranged for the property to be in his name only. How does this affect me? Is this in anyway mine? Or not at all? Thanks"

By: Anon on Jan 07, 2013 8:35AM

"I think this is more of a legal question & suggest you consult a family law specialist. What's yours is yours & what's his is yours??"

By: Mr Taxman on Jan 07, 2013 10:11PM

"We bought the property with my name and husband name in 2009. Now we are considering to buy another property. The new property would be our main residence and old one would be our investment property. I'm not income earner and my hub only has contributed to pay mortgage since we bought the old property. If my main residency transfers to new one, my hub wants to get tax deduction from investment property. How portion can he claim if im not an income earner?? Is just 50% because of my name nominated??"

By: emma on Jan 10, 2013 6:20AM

"Need to share the negative gearing with your husband as the property is in joint names."

By: Mr Taxman on Jan 11, 2013 4:04AM

"I bought a unit in 2007 and sometime during 2008 I rented the 2nd bedroom room out and claimed deductions for interest and rent (50%) in my ITR. I also declared all rental income received in my assessable income. I am now looking to sell the unit and need to calculate CGT on the sale. The room was rented for 62% of the time the unit was owned and given the unit was owned for more than 12 months the CGT is eligible for a 50% CGT discount. I have calculated the CGT as follows; Total Proceeds from sale – Original cost + Acquisition and disposal expenses * 50% (discount) * 62% (period room was rented) * 50% (allocation of unit rented out). Also, as the unit is in my name only, am I able to put the CGT from the sale in my wife’s (low income earner) ITR to minimise the amount of tax paid? "

By: Robert on Jan 10, 2013 10:55AM

"Calculation seems right. Unfortunately you have to wear the CGT & cannot be transferred to your wife."

By: Mr Taxman on Jan 11, 2013 4:05AM

"Partnership for business earning 395000 - 100 000 deductions salary of 45,000 paid to one partner what are the tax consequences and would it help if they were married also would a trust be helpful and how about a company structure?"

By: pet on Jan 12, 2013 11:36PM

"A detailed tax=planning question which I think you should actually invest some time & money and talk with a tax professional near you as there are numerous things to consider. No difference if married. A company structure may help reduce marginal tax rate to 30% (from 38.5% for individual partners). But the biggest thing that I would be concerned about is unlimited liability for running the partnership. "

By: Mr Taxman on Jan 25, 2013 7:38PM

"My partner and I moved to WA in Jan of 2012. We have a condo in the US, which is in her name that we are currently renting out. However the funds we use to pay for it come from our joint bank account. She has no AU income this year. Are we able to file our taxes jointly in AU and can we claim a foreign loss from our expenses incurred on the condo? She doesn’t have "

By: Matt on Jan 23, 2013 6:03AM

"Welcome to Australia Matt. I really enjoyed the US hospitality when I was over there last week but really miss being in the lucky country. Unfortunately there are some differences in the tax system between the two countries - one of which is that we don't file joint tax returns but rather individual ones. As the property is in your wife's name, you will need to put any foreign loss in her return too."

By: Mr Taxman on Jan 25, 2013 7:46PM

"Hi, my boyfriend and I live together at his parents house. We both earn under $50,000 a year. I was wondering how a tax return will affect us this year? Do we have to put down that we are each others spouse? "

By: Alex on Jan 31, 2013 10:27AM

"Yes you should put each other done as each other's spouses if you are living in a de factor arrangement but as your income is below (and also above) certain thresholds, there would be no obvious implication in being spouses."

By: Mr Taxman on Feb 01, 2013 12:41AM

"My husband and I got married November 30, 2012. He moved iin with me after the wedding. He owned a house during all of 2012 and still owns it. When he moved out in November, his roommate stayed and is taking over the note. We have plans to sell it in 2013. My questions are as follows: 1) Can we still deduct the amount he paid in interest, PMI and taxes for the 11 months he was living in his house (in addition to the full year's worth of deductions for my house)?, 2) Do we have to claim the one month (December) of rental income/deductions because his roommate stayed in the house?, 3) When we sell his house in 2013, do we now have to pay CGT b/c my house is now our "primary residence"?, and 4) If we sell the house later in 2013, will we have to account for (on our 2013 return) all the months of "rental income/deductions" that we will incur until it's sold? (Sorry about the bombardment of questions!!!)"

By: April on Feb 02, 2013 4:53PM

"In Australia, we can only claim expenses on rental property whilst it has been "available for rent" ... so the period that your husband lived in it would be personal & not claimable. The rent received is taxable income & expenses for the period that it was rented are deductible. He can elect for the place to remain his principal place of residence & avoid CGT but there are some specific ATO private rulings on the topic & might be worthwhile having a chat with a registered tax agent given that I don't have all the information about you here. "

By: Mr Taxman on Feb 02, 2013 11:32PM

"Hi Mr Taxman. My husband recently received employee share schemes. We are planning to wait for another year to transfer it under my name since my income is low. I believe we will need to pay 50% CGT? If we do the off market transfer, can we use the price below the market price? Is there any other way to avoid any tax/ fee? Maybe, change it under joint names? I am now wondering if there's any benefit by transfering it under my name. Thanks."

By: Carol on Feb 14, 2013 12:21AM

"Yes the transfer will result in a deemed disposal by your husband & CGT applicable at his marginal tax rate. Note that if held for more than 12 months he may be entitled to 50% discount (provided employee shares were either declared previously or under $1000). Need to use the market price unfortunately otherwise the Taxman may penalise you heavily for an avoidance of tax scheme. "

By: MR Taxman on Feb 17, 2013 3:29AM

"My husband and I have refinanced our house to buy a house to renovate nearer to where his kids live so we can actually get to see them sometime! If we transfer our main house to my name only can I then receive rent as my income only so that it isn't included in his child support assessment? ( we are already struggling to pay as his ex now chooses to work par tim so that he has to pay more)"

By: Sheryl on Feb 24, 2013 6:45AM

"Yes ex-wives are very good in working out all the benefits owing to them (even before they separate!) but so to are the husbands who are very good at coming up with various schemes to try & avoid paying any maintenance. Whilst your idea has merit, the downside is that you will have to pay stamp duty for the transfer of the property which I think will negate any benefits on the other side. Similarly, if you were to just sell the property there will be some selling costs (and perhaps stamp duty for another property anyway) that will be quite high."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 01, 2013 7:41AM

"Hi, I'm getting divorced and moving out of the family home which I bought before our marriage and is my name, into a property that my wife bought prior to our marriage that's been rented out the last 20 year, which is her name. If we transfer r swap titles into eachothers names to virtually trade houises do I have to pay capital gai nsntax on the propertyI move into, and can I offset capital gains tax by putting any money into Superannuation ? Thanks Anthony"

By: Anthony Griffiths on Mar 02, 2013 9:04PM

"The seller is the one that is liable for CGT - which would be your ex-wife when she transfers the property to you. Putting money into super to offset capital gains is only available to those selling small businesses."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 02, 2013 10:45PM

"I have a property (no mortage) under my sole name before I married in Jan this year. I want to add my spouse name onto the title. My solicitor told me no Stampduty payable, but CGT may arise. Does my spouse as the transferee need to pay any CGT? or CGT only happen if we sell the ppty? I just wondering what CGT consequence would it be in the future? such as 1) sell of property. 2) lease out . "

By: Miranda on Mar 06, 2013 2:22AM

"CGT is paid by the owner selling the property (or part thereof) but if you live in the property the whole time then no CGT is payable as it is your principal place of residence. However if it is a rental property then when it is transferred to your husband, you might have to pay CGT & then when you ultimately sell the property, there will be some more CGT to pay with your share having the original cost base & your husband having a cost based on the market value when you transferred the property to him. "

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 08, 2013 9:22PM

"Hello Mr Tax Man. My partner works as a tradie, isnt a good saver and hasnt paid tax on his abn since we moved to oz a couple of years ago. I want to buy a house on my own because I do not not know what the future holds for us as a couple. If I do, and we stay together, would assets under my name be liable to the ato? Thanks for your advice"

By: emma on Mar 09, 2013 7:09AM

"Your assets should be fine from his creditors & predators unless the courts demonstrate "preferential payments" that he shifted his monies to pay off your loan rather than the taxman"

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 10, 2013 8:21PM

"I have a question about the capital gains taxes on property owned before marriage. My husband purchased and lived in a house 13 years before we got married. We married and 6 months later sold his house (only 40K profit on this sale). We now would like to sell my house, the houses are in our non-married names... do we have to wait 2 years to sell my house to avoid capital gains tax?"

By: brooke on Mar 18, 2013 9:46PM

"I think I need more information here Brooke but if you have lived in your property the whole time then no CGT to worry about. If you have rented it out at any time, then there probably will be some CCGT implications."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 24, 2013 10:18PM

"Hi, I just got married a couple of weeks ago and am worried about tax returns. My husband has a child to another woman and pays minimal child support (as this is all he can afford) but doesn't do tax returns as she would get all of his return and his support payments would go up by an amount that we simply cannot afford to pay. I know I can file my return seperately but how will this affect him having to put his name and income on my return? What will happen? ( I know you get people trying to 'scam' child support but this woman is well off and better off than us and doesn't even need the payments, please don't judge)"

By: Lianne on May 06, 2013 5:05AM

"Congratulations on your wedding Lianne. I need to remind you that everyone has the obligation to lodge their tax return each year. As much as it may suck, unfortunately the rules are there for family breakdowns. think of the money going to his children rather than his ex. You may also miss out on various other government benefits for yourselves if returns are outstanding."

By: Mr Taxman on May 09, 2013 11:35PM

"My husband owns a house (100% owner) since 2002. I moved in with him in 2007. Now I like to buy a house myself (100% owner) and claim it as my main residence, whereas my husband would remain nominating his house as his main residence. Neither of the places would be rented out. I understand we will be paying some CGT when we sell. Two questions. 1. Would my spouse have to pay a share of CGT when I sell my house later on (although he did not live in it and is 0% owner)? Would my spouse have to pay CGT on his house over the period before I moved in in 2007 (i.e. 2002 to 2007)?"

By: Anna on May 15, 2013 5:00AM

"No CGT payable by your spouse in relation to your house but I think the ATO have a private ruling for someone similar to your situation where a couple can only have one prinicpal place of residence & only allowed to have two if both brought a property each into the relationship. No CGT on house between 2002-2007 provided that he lived in it & didn't rent out."

By: Mr Taxman on May 18, 2013 6:41AM

"Hi. My partner and I live together but we run our own separate finances. We are looking at a joint health insurance. Will this mean we need to lodge a joint tax return? Or can we do them separately still. We both have not properties or investments. "

By: Anna on May 15, 2013 8:46AM

"You will still be lodging separate tax returns."

By: Mr Taxman on May 18, 2013 6:38AM

"My husband purchased a house in 2003 in which we lived together from 2009. I purchased another house in my name in 2010, though did not live in it. We lived all the time in his house. In my house was a caretaker who looked after the place rentfree. We want to sell both houses now and buy a new bigger home from the combined money. His current house though has tripled in value over the twelve years he owned it (from 80K to 300K), whereas mine is expected to only sell by about 20K above the costbase I had. To keep CGT low, are we right by thinking that we both should nominate his house as our main place of living for all the time, or should I nominate my home as main place of living and he his as his main place?"

By: Belinda on May 15, 2013 1:31PM

"Sounds like your husband's place is the one that you should have had an election that it is his prinicple place of residence to avoid CGT for the increase in valuation."

By: Mr Taxman on May 18, 2013 6:43AM

"Hi, I hope you can help because I searched through the ATO websites, even tried to talk to them, but still find it all very confusing. In 2011 my partner and I separated and because of that she moved out of our family home and purchased her own flat to live in. Now we have decided get back together and she wants to move back with me and the kids in our family home. Our eldest son will turn 18 next year and would like to then move into the flat by himself (probably just paying for the bills such as power and water). So in the meantime we will leave it unoccupied. Will we pay CGT on either the flat or family home when we decide to sell in future?"

By: Richard on May 19, 2013 5:34AM

"No CGT on your own home (as you have always lived in) but probably will be some on the flat - might be an argument for your partner to get the 6 year exemption but doubt if she would have it approved from the ATO."

By: Mr Taxman on May 30, 2013 11:48AM

"Hi Mr Taxman. I'm still married with 3kids. Last year unfortunately, me & hubby had some issues and is on trial separation. Would I be better off saying I'm a single mum with 3kids on every tax assessments? And do I need to show official separation papers?"

By: Cherry on Jun 12, 2013 11:54PM

"Sorry to hear Cherry. If you are separated then you should show in your tax return the date that you no longer have a spouse. You do not need to show any evidence of separation unless the ATO or Family Assistance specifically asks for proof down the track. "

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 13, 2013 9:31AM

"Hi Taxman, I have a property under my name and I being living there for past 4.5 years. I got married couple of years back and didn't bother to change the property name under both of us. Now we buying our second property and planning to live in there, while renting out current one. Since my salary is high, and wife's salary is low, can I show our new rental income under my wife's name (asking tenet's to put money into her bank account) for tax benefit?"

By: G on Jun 19, 2013 6:12AM

"Unfortunately not. As the property is in your name, you must declare the income. If you were to transfer the property into your wife's name, please be aware that there might be a large stamp duty bill which would negate any tax benefits."

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 20, 2013 7:31AM

"My husband and I got married 1.5 years ago. 3 years before we got married he bought an investment property in his name, and we have not changed that to joint names. For this entire financial year he has not earned an income due to not being employed. Thus I have been paying for his property (gap mortgage repayments, bills etc). Can I make the claim (negative gearing/expenses) against my income for this year?"

By: Help on Jun 26, 2013 2:56AM

"Unfortunately your husband will need to show the loss from the investment property in his return. I know it sucks but the upside is that any net taxable losses are carried forward to future financial years & will reduce his taxable income next year."

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 27, 2013 11:04AM

"Hi, I bought an investment property with my ex in 2001. In the settlement it was transferredinto my name in 2006. I sold it in 2013. How do I calculated CGT, is it based on all records from when it was purchased and in joint names? If so am I eligible 100% for the CGT even though it was in joint names for a number of years? Can not find an answer on the ATO website. Really appreciate your help."

By: Amanda on Jun 26, 2013 3:13AM

"You will be liable for CGT on the whole property. Assuming that the other half of the property was just transferred across to you & that there was no "buyout" then the cost base is your original costs in 2001. If there was a "buyout" figure then that will be your cost base for half plus half of the original costs. "

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 27, 2013 11:07AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, my new partner and i moved in together in April of this year. i have two children from a seperate relationship. do we need to lodge tax returns advising that we are a couple now? and if so, will this affect anything? what happens if we dont? the reason i ask is that he lodged his tax return today because he got his group certificate today. I get family tax benefit for my two children and up until we moved in together i was claiming single parents pension. are we in trouble? sorry this is so all over the shop. im just concerned as to what to do from here."

By: Erin on Jun 27, 2013 4:52AM

"Yes you need to show the details of your spouse in each other's tax returns. It may have an impact on your entitlements - I suggest you chat with the Family Assistance Office about what the impact will be (if any) as I am not up-to-date with changes to those entitlements based on your change in circumstances. Note that I expect your friends to say "tell them nothing & keep claiming" but I will point out that you may get away with it for a number of years but if found out in event of an audit, the Government can claim back all overpayments regardless of timeframe."

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 27, 2013 11:12AM

"Thanks for your response. Just to clarify, i have advised centrelink of my current living arrangements and no longer get any entitlements from them. Should my partner get his tax return back and fix it up. i want to do it the right way. Thanks again"

By: Erin on Jun 28, 2013 1:41AM

"I suggest that he call up the ATO & advice that he inadvertently forgot to include your details & ask to amend their records."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 04, 2013 11:15PM

"Hi there, Just a quick question. My spouse and I include each other on our tax returns and have 2 children.Could you please explain why we both incur a medicare levy if we are a family? I think about this every year. It totals almost $2000. Is it double dipping? Apologies for my ignorance. Thanks for your time."

By: Michaella on Jun 29, 2013 1:48AM

"Unfortunately it is not double dipping. Everyone pays 1.5% Medicare levy ... this increases by another 1% if you don't have private medical insurance & your income is above the relevant threshold ($84k for singles and $168k for couples). The Medicare Levy on each return should only be 1.5% of your income not combined incomes. "

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 04, 2013 11:20PM

"My 'defacto' girlfriend is an apprentice and we have lived together for over a year now. As she earns little, she has also paid very little tax, however I have paid quite a bit for equipment and education for her. I was wondering if this can be claimed in a joint return, if there are any benefits to this. I am hoping so, as centrelink doesn't help her at all as they combine our income and claim she is earning over the minimum wage."

By: James on Jun 29, 2013 5:21AM

"Unfortunately there is no joint return & you can't claim either in your own return. She is the only one who can claim provided the study is work-related. Note that the equipment if over $300 may need to be depreciated."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 04, 2013 11:22PM

"My marriage ended on the 16 th of September 2012 and we live separately now do I have to put his taxable income in as I don't know it he won't tell me Thank you "

By: Vanessa on Jun 29, 2013 10:31PM

"You are required to put in his taxable income but if he won't tell you then a good idea to put in an estimate of what you think it was & the ATO will then match up when he finally lodges his return."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 04, 2013 11:23PM

"Hi,Mr.Taxman! My partner and I live together but we run our own separate finances. I'm going to do e-tax can I say I have a spouse but I don't fill in any his income? can I put $0 on him? I don't want to get involved any his income and what about medicare levy can I only fill in mine? Thank you Mr. Taxman"

By: Sasshy on Jun 30, 2013 2:31AM

"You need to put in an accurate figure as you may get some benefits that you are not entitled to by putting $0."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 04, 2013 11:24PM

"Hi Mr. Taxman. My wife and I separated at the end of June 2012. We are still married but aren't living together so on my tax return do I say that I have a spouse or not?"

By: Dan on Jun 30, 2013 11:15PM

"I would have shown in your 2012 tax return the date that you separated & not include your spouse in your 2013 return."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 04, 2013 11:30PM

"Hi, are we taxed less if married/defacto relationship ? That is do we get more back when we do our tax return rather than if we were single ? thanks"

By: shirley higgins on Jul 03, 2013 12:47AM

"Really the only tax impact for being married is potentially for some Government benefits and also for the Medicare levy surcharge threshold if you don't have private medical cover as a couple/family. There are no combined income tax rates (which I believe we should have) nor any special tax deductions"

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 04, 2013 11:28PM

"Hi, I have earnt about 90K this year and my husband is well below the tax free threshold (he earnt about $9000 this year). As I have been supporting him this past year, are there any offsets for this?"

By: CEEGEE on Jul 04, 2013 4:44AM

"The dependent spouse rebate has been phased out & now only available for those with spouses born before 1 July 1952 (guessing is unlikely happening to you). I suggest that when you complete the returns & get your assessments back that you go to the Family Assistance office to see if you are entitled to any other benefits."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 04, 2013 11:32PM

"hello, i started living with my boyfriend on the 18th of Feb 2013. do i need to recognise him as my spouse even though we have only been living together for 3 months (we are not married)? Also any tax my partner may owe, coult the ATO take that out of my tax refund? our combined income is about 75 grand. Thankyou"

By: sarah on Jul 05, 2013 10:13AM

"Yes you should show your spouse in your tax return. Don't worry the ATO won't take your refund to repay his debt."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 06, 2013 7:41AM

"So if I have a debt with the ATO, and my partner is due for an refund, they cant use this refund to pay back my tax debt?"

By: R on Jul 29, 2013 2:15AM

"Hi - presumably there is no principal against being double taxed? Because the MLS applied to each spouse's joint income equates to exactly that. Seems out of sync with general tax approach. This is of particular interest to me as I am a non-australian and therefore cannot be covered by my wife's private insurance. I've no problem paying the surcharge on my income, but it seems odd that I should be paying tax on her income and vice versa. Or have I understood this wrong?"

By: Malcolm Tent on Jul 11, 2013 2:09AM

"It is a fair comment that you make. Suggest you call the ATO to see if there is an appropriate cover that you can get without infringing the Medicare Levy Surcharge for your wife who has cover."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 21, 2013 8:46PM

"Hi. Nice article thanks. I would like to know how to calculate CGT in this special case. We just got married. We both own a property as PPOR prior to marriage. If now we treat my property as PPOR, and her property is no longer her PPOR, how do you calculate CGT if say she sells her property in 1 year from now? How do I prove how much her property is worth (cost base?) at the time we got married in order to calculate CGT when she sells her house in 1 years time? Thanks."

By: Philip on Jul 11, 2013 5:04AM

"Hi, I am married and have a bit more income than my husband. I also have significant health related expenses. If my husband lodges a return his income, including half of mine, would be about $8000 over the taxable threshold. Would we get a better rebate if he claimed all of the medical expenses on his return? "

By: Kathe Baud on Jul 13, 2013 1:47AM

"Medical expenses is a tax rebate & doesn't reduce taxable income so it doesn't matter how claims it (except in instances where your income is low & don't get whole benefit of rebate)."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 21, 2013 8:38PM

"Hi there, I was married on June 9th but did not declare this on my tax return at the instruction of 2 different tax consultants in light of the fact that we do not live together yet (bizarre I know) and that we were oy married 3 weeks before the end of the tax year. Have I done the wrong thing? Thanks"

By: Sarah on Jul 14, 2013 3:03AM

"Not the end of the world but I would have disclosed that you have a spouse since 9 June."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 21, 2013 8:36PM

"Hi Mr Tax Man I am wanting to complete my husbands tax return asap by e-tax. However I cannot lodge mine for a while to gather certain income info, which has no affect for him. Is there any way I can lodge his return not knowing my income details for the FY? Thanks"

By: Suzie on Jul 14, 2013 7:14AM

"I suggest that you put in a reasonable estimate of your income - generally there is no impact on returns regarding spouse income unless you are near the threshold levels concerning not having private health cover or receiving government benefits."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 21, 2013 6:43AM

"Hi Mr Tax man what happens if I lodge my tax return without my partner as i do not know his income details."

By: irene on Jul 17, 2013 2:07PM

"Generally there is no impact unless you receive any government benefits or you don't have any private medical cover & your income exceeds the threshold levels. I suggest you try & put in a reasonable estimate prior to lodging."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 21, 2013 6:41AM

"I am a gay man in a relationship of 14 yrs. Why do I need to declare that I am in a realtionship to the Australian Tax Office if the Government of Australia does not recognise my relationship and disallows me to marry?"

By: JB on Jul 22, 2013 6:00AM

"It is a fair comment that you make JB, I guess the upside is that same-sex relationships are recognised for government benefits so there is an incentive to disclose. Hopefully Kev 07 will introduce marriage laws shortly for you. All the best."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 22, 2013 9:05PM

"I am in a same-sex relationship and my partner and I were married in Argentina this year. Although not recognised in Australia, will this have tax implications for us?"

By: HK on Jul 24, 2013 3:29AM

"Congratulations on your marriage. Whilst same-sex marriages may not be legally recognised in Australia, same-sex relationships are recognised for Australian tax purposes & may have an impact on any Government concessions that you may be entitled to."

By: Mr TAxman on Aug 14, 2013 7:44AM

"My husband & I have a rental property which we have always claimed our portion off through our seperate tax returns. I am now no longer working so my question is can my husband now claim my share also?"

By: Natalie on Jul 24, 2013 4:27AM

"Unfortunately not Natalie. You will need to show your respective shares in each other's tax return still despite a change in other circumstances."

By: Mr Taxman on Aug 14, 2013 7:45AM

"Do you have to declare a partner as a DeFacto on a tax return. Last year my accountant did not ask me that question and I realised after that that they said no to the question. My partners tax return never got received by the tax office. We applied for a DeFacto visa in Aug 2011. But I have not yet been granted the visa. Would I of had to put him as a Defacto on last years return? And what do I do about this years return? Or can I just declare him once my visa has come through"

By: Rose on Aug 02, 2013 5:24AM

"You should declare your defacto as your spouse in your return each year. Definitely include in this year's return as it probably also help with the visa application."

By: Mr Taxman on Aug 14, 2013 7:47AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I have been in a relationship with my partner since 2006. This financial year my partner had dental work carried out to the tune of approximately $15,000, which he himself paid for. I was wondering whether I am able to include this in my 'Total net medical expenses' for my 2013 tax return, or is this considered 'double dipping' and only my partner can claim for these expenses. I didn't think it was clearly explained on the ATO website whether I was able to claim as well as we are De Facto or just my partner. Thanks!"

By: Rebecca Woodhouse on Aug 02, 2013 8:46AM

"It is possible for you to claim his medical expenses in your return - and as well as those net medical expenses of other family members - but obviously both of you cannot claim the net medical expenses in both returns as this would be double dipping."

By: Mr Taxman on Aug 14, 2013 7:49AM

"I am doing my tax via eTax and my wife is going to an accountant who advised us to both claim 50% of the Net Medical Expenses. If I claim 50% my estimated offset is $410 but if I claim %100 the estimate is $1244 so if we both claim 50% do we both get $410 (i.e. $820 total) because the $2120 threshold is calculated against both our individual claims or will the ATO see we both have claims and adjust to give us both $622 as we are entitled to or should just one of us claim the %100 to make sure?"

By: John K on Sep 10, 2013 9:44PM

"Hi I have filled out my tax return as an individual for the past 5 years and never stated I was married because my husbands finances and mine have been completely separate. My husband is trying to do an etax and it keeps asking him to put down his spouse. Does he have to declare me as his spouse, and what happens because I haven't declare him. I have never had to do this before."

By: jillian Stewart on Aug 21, 2013 10:34AM

"Yes you should show him as your spouse - the implications may be having to repay any government entitlements that you should not have been entitled to."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:37AM

"Hi, I live in Australia and have an income from employment and as an individual with an ABN. My wife did not earn anything. will I lose her threshold amount? or Can I pay her up to the threshold to reduce my tax."

By: Steve H on Sep 07, 2013 11:30PM

"Whilst it would be desirable to take advantage of her tax free threshold, you will need to demonstrate that any payment to your wife is reasonable based on the services actually performed for your business."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:39AM

"Hello me and my girlfriend do not live together but i would like to take out a Couples Health insurance policy, she however does not currently work. Is there any tax implications or should i buy an single health cover instead"

By: Deek on Sep 13, 2013 3:23AM

"No tax implications if you do not live together & not spouses."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:40AM

"Hi, I've been living with my girlfriend for 9 months, should I put her down as my spouse [ie de facto] and if I do, will that have any negative tax implications for both of us. We are both on around 70k. Cheers"

By: Cameron on Sep 26, 2013 3:39AM

"Hi, my ex partner and I were in a defacto relationship for 2012 but split up mid 2012 (aug). I am now doing my tax for 2013 and it is asking me if I had a defacto spouse during 2012 (I sort of did..for half) but if I state 'yes' will it ask for his details going forward? (because I don't keep in contact with him..) what happens if I say no?"

By: NIKKI on Sep 26, 2013 5:09AM

"For the year 2012 - 2013, I was separated from my wife, living on my own in a separate house, with out my children. During this period I have been paying child maintanence. Since June 30 2013,our divorce has been finalized. In filling my 2012 - 13 return, do I have a dependent spouse and children?"

By: Charles Taylor on Sep 29, 2013 10:16PM

"Hi there, I was just wondering if you would be able to let me know if i need to declare my husbands income on my tax return as he runs a business and lodges BAS statements Thanks so much!"

By: Belle on Sep 30, 2013 3:36AM

"Hi Mr Taxman. My new partner and I are preparing to move in together next year with my 2 school aged children. We will live at my mortgaged house. We are both currently applying for divorce. He will sell his matrimonal house and but another property in his name. Our combined income will be very close to $140000. I have never had private health insurance but he has it with his ex-wife and 2 daughters (16 and 18). Can my children and I be added to his private health insurance without penalty? How does this affect my family tax benefits. Does my income affect his shild support payments. (I do not receive child support payments from my ex). Should we put the new property in both names as I earn more? Thank you."

By: Juliet on Oct 06, 2013 11:12PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I am in a homosexual relationship and we registered our relationship in April in NSW. However, my partner is living overseas and has never lived here, has never earned a cent here and was here on a tourist visa. Do I need to declare him as defacto with his income although he is not living here? The two statements on the tax form are not connected with "and/or". It states that on the tax form that a defacto is a partner is in a relationship with you and is registered under a prescribed state or territory law although not legally married to you, lives with you on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple. We clearly meet the first criteria but not the second one. Do I have to declare the relationship and his income? Thanks for your help."

By: BG on Oct 12, 2013 1:05AM

"Hi Mr TaxMan. Thank you for the great article. Can I clarify rental income in my situation please? I purchased and lived in my own home for three years. I am the only name on the title. My deaf to partner and I then renovated it, moved for work and study, and have rented it out. It works out slightly positively geared, as the rental income is slightly more than the mortgage. It has landlords insurance and We still pay the rates and water. Do I have to wear all of the rental income (or losS)? My partner has a much higher income than me. Thank you ! "

By: Annette on Oct 28, 2013 11:18PM

"Hi Mr Taxman! My spouse has not completed her taxes yet (going through an accountant) and I was going to file my tax online with e-tax, however am now stumped at the section where I need to give my spouse's taxable income etc. Do I need to provide this (or can it be 0) - and what are the implications if I do? thanks!"

By: Jon S on Oct 31, 2013 6:32AM

"Obviously the CGT primary residence implication is a pretty important consideration that is best actioned BEFORE getting married. Adrian I'd really recommend you update the start of your piece to tell couples that they DO need to worry about this beforehand, there is a pretty good argument for selling up before marriage and thereby avoiding CGT liability."

By: Annie on Nov 03, 2013 6:26AM

"In today's budget there is a proposed £ 1000 increase in married couple allowance that could be passed on to either partner to reduce their tax. Could this work for pension couples. I receive a works pension which I pay tax . Could I claim my wife' s tax allowance to tax on my work's pension? "

By: Bob love on Dec 05, 2013 3:22PM

"My defacto is gifting me $200000 to help me purchase an investment property in my name solely. Do I have to pay tax on the $200000."

By: Sandra on Dec 18, 2013 10:05PM

"Hi ..My self sharma & i have a company with two directors ..I have ato debt with penalty 7200 ..i got a house with mortgage with some equity as well ..if i dont pay what are the consequences"

By: sharma on Dec 19, 2013 1:09AM

"Hi Tax man..Im a stay at home with 2 children I am not working but my fiancée is...Are we able to file a tax return jointly? "

By: Alex on Feb 12, 2014 1:24AM

"hi, but if my and my (now) husband both owned properties, i let mine out and move in with him in 2009, and marry in 2010, does the cgt start accumulating from 2009, 2010, when we marry? or 2012 when we sell his flat and buy a marital home? we still have my flat, rented out. many thanks"

By: jane on Mar 15, 2014 2:47PM

"hi, but if my and my (now) husband both owned properties, i let mine out and move in with him in 2009, and marry in 2010, does the cgt start accumulating from 2009, 2010, when we marry? or 2012 when we sell his flat and buy a marital home? we still have my flat, rented out. many thanks"

By: jane on Mar 15, 2014 2:48PM

"Hi. Husband and I have been separated for 8 years. We have a business and his business loan is attached to our home. I am living and maintaining the house and he continues to run the business. He is a director and he has racked up 69,000 with the ATO and he has also another business (charity) which he took our superannuation and put it into the new business. Am I liable for the ATO debt?"

By: Jo Robinson on Mar 15, 2014 8:24PM

"My issues is this: got married in August 2013 , hasn't liven with my husband since then bc of my post secondary school location and his work on out tax return do we claim married ? Or separated or single? And if one of us already claim single how can we fix this? "

By: As on Mar 20, 2014 2:32AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, currently I have a rental property bought in the 90s under my name and intend to sell it this year. Would adding my spouse name to the property (i.e., jointly owned) help minimise the CGT by sharing the capital gain (50% each)? My spouse does not have assessable income. Also, will the 'addition' of the name to the property attract any stamp duty? Would appreciate any lights you can shed on this. "

By: Tedi on Mar 24, 2014 11:44AM

"HI Mr Taxman, My partner and I lived apart from one another last year for approx. 4 months. If he does not declare this on his Tax return... what happens? I'm just curious because he might try and get out of paying any child support that he owes - as he has not paid a cent."

By: Babrs on Apr 07, 2014 11:27AM

"Can someone please tell me when applying for family tax benefit is it calculated on last years tax return or your current income ? I would like to claim the newborn payment but I am only eligible for it if I am eligible for part A, going by last years return I am not eligible for either but going by our current income and our income for the tax year in which our baby will be born we should be entitled to it however I'm afraid it is taken by last years return ?"

By: Kristy on Apr 24, 2014 1:43PM

"Hello, I have lived with my partner for a year he recently bought a rental property in NZ and its only in his name do i need to claim this investment on my tax ? because i will have to put that I'm in a relationship and then its going to ask about his wage and any earnings etc? i don't want his rental property to affect the amount of tax i get back from my loss of money in shares? thanks for your help "

By: karla on Apr 27, 2014 7:47AM

"Hi, I just got married and we want to move the house into both our names. How do we do that?"

By: Tim on May 06, 2014 11:17AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I have recently been made redundant and received a large lum sum which I put into a high interest bearing account. If I move the lump sum to my husband's saving account will we be taxed on the amount I have given him? We want to do this as I earn more money than my husband and we would like to reduce the amount of tax we pay on the interest earned."

By: Gail on May 27, 2014 1:24AM

"Hi, I got married last year outside of Australia. Recently she got her immigration visa and will join me here in Sydney by Sept 2014.She has no income overseas. So can i list her in my Tax return as my spouse and ask for exception for "medicare levy surcharge" since my income not fall under income bracket for families."

By: Ali on Jun 17, 2014 1:43PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, My wife and I got married last year and have lived together ever since. Her mother passed away shortly after and she has not worked at all this financial year .. she was claiming Centrelink until I got a job and then it was taken away. I am from the UK and although a resident for tax purposes am not yet an Austrlaian resident. My friend from the UK was also living with us for 6 months and I had to support him also. My question is, can I claim both as dependants? If so what evidence do I need. Will the Ato take into account that I have only worked for 7 months of the year? thank you "

By: Phil on Jun 23, 2014 2:49AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, My husband is currently studying and earning a very small wage. I have some shares in my name and I want to sell them and use some of the proceeds as a deposit for our family home. Is there any way we can legally transfer the shares into my husband's name only to avoid me incurring CGT tax at a relatively higher rate than he would as the lower income earner? Thank you"

By: Claire on Jun 28, 2014 12:10PM

"Hi, I'm very confused. I'm married I bought $23000 in my name only worth of shares, due to circumstances I should around $15000 of the shares. Do I declare the whole $15000 or just any capital gain & any dividends. As they were only in my name I will be only one declaring this on my tax is the correct. Many thanks for any feed back."

By: Vickie on Jul 10, 2014 6:02AM

"Hi, we bought our only property last year but due to marital problems we have decide to live separately(not a legal separation due to religious reasons). I am still renting but my husband wants to live in our bought property shared with one of his friend (friend is paying rent). Can I still claim negative gearing on this property? And does my husband have to declare rental income he is getting from his friend? Thanks"

By: Deora on Jul 22, 2014 4:27AM

"Hi, I bought an investment property 17 years ago. 7 years after buying it I moved into it myself. 7 years later I got married and we built a new home. By that stage the investment unit had appreciated greatly. I did a spousal transfer for market value and paid off half my house. Should we del the unit will CGT apply to my wife for the full amount starting from when I bought the property?"

By: Nick on Jul 26, 2014 4:01AM

"Hi, my husband and I separated last year (August) - when I do my tax return it asks about your spouse (wrote yes then filled in date) and then it asks for his income. Does it want the full year or just for the part of the year we were together? And w1xikyhat if he wont tell me?"

By: Lynette on Jul 27, 2014 10:16AM

"Hi, I got married to an AU citizen late last year. I am currently on a work visa and is still waiting for my employer to sponsor my PR. Is it ok if my husband and I file separate tax returns. I don't want to file a joint return since it will be more complicated. I am not eligible to any benefit and with our different status , joint filing is a nightmare. I am just worried that when my PR application is processed immigration will check my return and see that I have not declared that I am married. Thanks"

By: Grace on Aug 04, 2014 4:07AM

"Hi, if my husband and I both jointly invest in a managed fund, what amounts (as provided in the tax statement from the investment company) do we declare in our tax return? Do we each declare the full amount or do we split these amounts in half and each declare half? If the former, please could you explain why?"

By: Tanya on Aug 14, 2014 12:22AM

""Hi Mr Taxman, My husband and I live in a property that is in my name solely and was owned by me before we even met. We are thinking about renting it out and buying a new property together to live in. The debt on the existing house is only $200k therefore would be positively geared and we would end up with a huge non-deductible debt of $600k on the new place. My question is can I 'sell' my husband half of the existing PPR for say $300k, which would then mean we have $500k debt against it. Then I can use the $300k towards the new house? So we would then be in debt only $300k on the non-deductible house and $500k on the old PPR which is now being rented out. Thanks""

By: Brooke on Sep 17, 2014 5:37AM

"My girlfriend own a property that we both live in, its not fair for her to cover all the cost so I pay her the market value rent, can she include this property on her tax return as a rental property even though she lives there. We are aware of cgt issues."

By: Cameron on Oct 31, 2014 10:35AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I'm recently divorced after being married for 15 years. I don't know much about taxes which has lead me to my position. I was a homemaker for the first 10 years of marriage, raising kids etc, my ex did his taxes but because I didn't work, I never did a tax return. We had 4 rental properties and in the 10 years I never got a refund myself as my ex collected it all into his account. When I started work he came back from the accountants and said we now have to claim as a couple, I then received a tax refund for 3 years into my account. My ex demanded that I give his money back to him, but I put it towards the childrens education. During the divorce I was left homeless and penniless as I couldn't even get centerlink due to having the rental properties and family home in both our names. Again I didn't need to lodge a return due to no income, however I was actually getting an income from the rental properties but it was all going to the ex. He was asked many times to send me information for taxes from the rental properties but he refused. The 3 years later after the settlement, he does his 3 years of taxes and claims all of my refunds as well into his bank account. What can I do to lawfully claim my tax refund and can he be charged with theft as it was deliberately done. Some of the houses were sold prior to settlement, all bills were settled and I ended up with very little money as I even had to pay the company accounts from my settlement. He ended up with the family home and a rental property. Because I got the money from the rentals that were sold, am I responsible for the taxes on those? If I have to pay that as well then I won't even have enough to buy a car with. Feeling very ripped off here."

By: Zoey on Nov 05, 2014 9:22PM

"I now understand that all of the time during the marriage that I didn't work, I DID need to put in my tax return...I think my ex may have been doing this on my behalf but he was also collecting the refunds himself. I did do my tax returns during the 3 years prior to divorce but just without the information on the rental properties. So the return was nil. Is it fraud when the ex deliberately claims my tax refund?"

By: Zoey on Nov 05, 2014 9:29PM

"I'm an Australian citizen living in Mexico. I recently got married to a Mexican. I have been lodging a tax return each year declaring my overseas earnings, but for next year, when I need to add him as my spouse, do I need to declare his earnings too? "

By: Mardi on Nov 06, 2014 4:51AM

"I have a similar situation. I live overseas but visit Australia and am an Australian resident for tax purposes. I am marrying an American who also lives overseas. I have a property in Australia so it makes sense to remain an Australian resident for tax purposes but my fiancé is not an Australian and will not live here. Do I need to report his income on my tax return? "

By: Bron on Jun 14, 2017 7:32AM

"Hi Mr Taxman My wife & I have 2 negatively-geared properties in joint names. She ceased working as of 30Jun14, & so her share of the tax loss is wasted as she can no longer offset & get PAYG back form 14/15 onwards. Her tax refund was critical to assist with the escalating costs of properties especially, major repairs. I'm still working & will continue to do so for the next 8 years until I'm able to claim an Age pension. As she can no longer leverage her share of the loss, we want to tfer both fully into my name, so that I can claim the entire loss as I'm now the sole breadwinner. Can you pls advise what's involved & what costs er may incur? Many thanks"

By: Kym on Nov 20, 2014 4:00AM

"Hi Mr Taxman. I want to transfer my wife some of our savings as she is in a lower tax bracket than me so we don't pay so much tax on the interest earned. Will she be taxed for receiving these funds from me? Apologies if answered elsewhere. Regards"

By: Mark on Nov 29, 2014 2:26AM

"Hi, I bought a property in August 2008 and moved into it on settlement. I lived in the property for 4.5 years as my main residence and then rented it out for 2 years which ended on 27 December 2014. I took possession of the property and put all utilities etc in my name and it is my main residence as I work in Sydney. I also got married in August 2014 and my husband owns a property and it was my primary residence for 2 years but as I moved back into my unit to save on commuting time (up to 5 hours a day). My query is, if I sold the property now would I be subject to CGT due to the marriage? I see there is a rule that states that if you move back in for 3 months and do not sell it if there was rent in the last 12 months you may be clear of CGT. Is there any other way we could avoid CGT? Thanks Dani"

By: Dani on Jan 13, 2015 12:53AM

"My friend was talking to me the other day about the new HIF private health fund ad campaign involving same sex couples cover and how it was going to affect their tax. It got me thinking; If you take out a joint private health care fund, whether it be as a same sex or heterosexual couple, do you then have to change anything on your tax return or can they continue doing their individual tax returns as normal without declaring any type of de facto status? They don't have any joint accounts or anything but one of them owns a house (mortgage)?"

By: Amos on Mar 07, 2015 6:20AM

"I have a CGT question. a married couple live in the family home in the wives name. Another property is purchased by the husband in his name. The husband moves into the 2nd property for 6 weeks whilst they briefly separate. He then moves back into the family home for 2.5 - 3 years and rents it out. Following this time he moves out of the family home for 6 months at which time he sells it and makes a significant profit. The husband moves back into the family home for 6 months and then leaves permanently. The family home is sold 6 years later. Is either of the homes liable for CGT? "

By: lisa on Mar 15, 2015 8:00AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I own a property with my husband, we separated and have been living apart more than a year now. He is living in the family home and I moved into the second property. For the property we co-own, we pay half each of mortgage and expenses relating to the house. He is paying the equivalent in rent. Is it possible for me to treat this as an investment property? even partially? The other property I purchased alone and pay for in full so would be great to get some tax advantage on the other property. "

By: Sorena Mitchell on Apr 21, 2015 5:52AM

"Hi Mr. Taxman. I have been married for 2 years now and we did not report to ATO that we have been married. My husband is working but I am not. I just got my Temporary Resident so I thinking to looking for job sometimes soon. Do we have to report ATO that we are married? I actually have no idea how to contact them. And also, does it gonna effect my husband tax? Or does he going to get fine because we not tell them earlier? To be honest, ee wasn't know that we have to tell them. My husband never pay tax by him self, his boss did. Also, since his working.. He never apply or try to get the tax return. I am sorry if my question sound very stupid but honestly I totally got no idea about this. Thank you in advance for your help"

By: Vee on Apr 30, 2015 11:49PM

"Hi I splitnwith my partner in January and we no longer have contact. When I do my tax return in July should I declare that I didn't have a de facto this year because I will be unable to get his annual income to complete this section? Or do I have to declare him as my de facto for part of the year even though I will not be able to find out his annual income? Thanks "

By: Kym on May 17, 2015 8:55AM

"Hi Mr Taxman. I have recently been married. My husband owns 2 properties and I own 1 which I am currently living in. If one of the 2 properties that my husband owns is currently being claimed as a PPR as he is not living in either, is it possible to transfer the title across to me without incurring stamp duty. I have read some articles which say that you can only claim one PPR between 2 of us. The property that I live in is likely to be our PPR down to the track so won't incur CGT in the long term. Can we claim his property as the full PPR and transfer the title over?"

By: Briana on May 21, 2015 5:59AM

"My partner is a U.S. Citizen and we are looking to lodge our first tax in Australia claiming her as a dependant and she is worried about what she will need to do with her tax later in the year. Are you able to advise what, if anything needs to be done on her side and is it true that the U.S. Tax department can tax my earnings because of this relationship "

By: Adam on Jun 29, 2015 8:52PM

"Hi. My boyfriend and I have been living together for a year and a half. I have been out of work for the last 6 months and unable to get any Centrelink payments because we are a over the threshold. Does he have to declare me as his spouse and is there a benefit to him doing so Thanks "

By: Geeta on Jul 01, 2015 2:46PM

"Hi, my wife owns an investment property and she is the only one on the house is our main residence and I'm the only one on the title. I'm the only income earner. What is the best way to pay the least tax? Can my income tax be reduced because of her investment property? Thanks"

By: Thunket on Jul 06, 2015 7:14AM

"hello, my fiancé and I have been doing seperate tax returns with different accountants. This financial year we had our first child and have been told we have to now lodge tax returns together- we would both still prefer to use our own accountants although we do have joint finances. Is this possible?"

By: Aimee on Jul 08, 2015 10:54AM

"Hi Could you tell me if my ex spouse can claimhalf my tax refund for this tax year. We seperated at the beginning of April, and my refund is from June 2014 to June 2015. Thanks."

By: Caroline on Jul 10, 2015 10:39AM

"Hi, I separated from my husband August 10th 2014, we are still legally married as I can't file for divorce until after August 2015 (as I was told we have to be separated for 1 year). We dont speak, do I still need to put him on my tax return? How will this impact my tax return?"

By: Kristy on Jul 12, 2015 12:43PM

"Hi, I'm in a defacto relationship with an Australian since May 2014. We live in the same house, but I'm not entitled to Medicare because I'm still on a 457 visa. I did my tax return for this year through my employer, but now I have to pay the Medicare levy back although I'm not entitled to Medicare but because I had a "dependant". Do I need to pay back the levy or am I exempt? Thanks"

By: Georg on Oct 12, 2015 8:03AM

"I am 83 year old widower on a part Centrelink pension. I do not pay income tax. I pay HBF insurance in WA. I own my own home. My superannuation is not taxed but is an income asset for centreline purposes. My fiancé lives ten km away, is 75 and owns her home. She also receives part Centrelink pension. She has no super but a taxed income from investments which also is an asset for centreline purposes. Due to OCD condition my fiancé prefers to remain living in her own home. We marry in a local church next week, will 'live apart together'. We are not expecting any changes to anything. We expect to continue receiving our separate Centrelink pensions. We have our own bank accounts, pay our own expenses, rates etc. Are there any hidden problems?"

By: Richard Savage on Oct 25, 2015 10:06AM

"Hi, I have a property i bought in 2011 that i have since rented out. The house has $50 owing on the mortgage for over a year - before i met partner (just to leave it open in case i want to access redraw or buy a new home). I am now going to move into this house with my partner i have been with less than a year. Is she able to take a portion of this house if we were to seperate? Is there a difference if i were to pay out the loan completely and hold the title deeds before we move in or just leave the loan open? If i get her to send money weekly to an account as living expenses will that be ok not to declare with the ato? Also, what would her position be in this cicumstance, if she is not classified as renting?"

By: Mel on Nov 12, 2015 1:24AM

"hi, My partner and I brought a property together in 2014, we have separated and he has moved out of the home. how will this affect me claiming for Family Tax Benefit with Centrelink. As the mortgage is in both our names. "

By: Libby on Nov 24, 2015 9:09AM

"Do I have to advise my work that I changed my last name due to a marriage or do I just tell my accountant when I'm doing my return. I've been married for 5 years and never had to advise it but now I'm changing my name I'm not sure ? "

By: Shae on Nov 30, 2015 4:59AM

"Hi, I currently own my own home and rent one of the rooms out. The rental income and tax deductions this affords me are very handy. However, I will be marrying my fiancè in the coming months and she will be moving in with me once we are married. My question is whether or not I can rent a room out to her for around market rate, and then still claim the same tax deductions that I have been claiming for the existing tenant? The current tenant is moving out shortly, and my soon-to-be wife is happy to pay me each fortnight as her contribution to the property, which will be staying in my name only. I understand that this is less than conventional, but is there anything stopping me from doing this? Thanks"

By: Mike on Dec 06, 2015 7:21AM

"Hi, My wife doesn't have an income. Can I use her tax free threshold on my tax return?"

By: Jan Rune on Dec 14, 2015 11:49PM

"Unfortunately not. Personally I think there is a good argument to do so because a family with one spouse earning $100k is financially worse off then having both spouses earn $50k each, The only way to take advantage of the tax free threshold from the non-income spouse is to have income producing assets in her name."

By: Mr Taxman on Feb 24, 2016 9:05PM

"I am looking at getting married but my new partner has not completed a tax return in several years and will more than likely owe a fair bit to the tax office. Will I be liable for any of his debt if we get married?"

By: Michelle on Jan 05, 2016 1:42AM

"Hi! My boyfriend and I are individually applying for a 485 visa and planning to put SINGLE on our relationship status as we lack documents proving we are on a de facto relationship, but we declared de facto on our last tax return. My question is, will the declared de facto relationship affect our current 485 visa application as single? thank you!"

By: paola on Jan 25, 2016 8:12AM

"Looks like mrtaxman is gone. :-("

By: Andrew on Feb 24, 2016 4:06PM

"Still here! Just been replying privately to some messages from time to time."

By: Mr Taxman on Feb 24, 2016 9:03PM

"My husband and I married in Sept. He has not done a return since 2001! I am livid and am wondering where i stand? No amount of talking is getting through to him. I love him we have 2 children together he has 2 other children. Yet this makes me want a divorce! I do not want to go down with him when it happens. Especially since I have been trying very hard to get him to do them. He is so scared of jail time that he won't. Hellpppp!"

By: Scardey cat on Mar 13, 2016 12:52AM

"Aside from potential ramifications from the ATO, I would encourage your husband to lodge his outstanding returns as soon as possible. If he predominantly works for an employer then he is probably due a fair bit of money back. The ATO could charge a fee for late lodgement of each return (I think the fee is $770 per year) plus interest on any outstanding debt (at around 9%). it is better to lodge before the ATO finds him as they can try to prosecute for non-lodgement (not desirable). I am sorry that money/tax issues are affecting your personal life - perhaps if you can communicate how sick you feel in the stomach it might stir him into action. The ATO would not be able to approach you although joint assets may be in their sights if they need to recover any outstanding debts. Good luck! "

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 13, 2016 7:29AM

"I received a letter from the ATO stating I need to pay a 1% Medicare levy surcharge because my health cover isn't sufficient. I am on $1000 excess but need to be on $500 for my income threshold. I did look this up and was about to change but my accountant said i didn't need to (BAD ADVICE). Now they said I can tell the ATO that I am in a defacto (which I am) but my partner has done all her previous tax returns and clicked 'no' on the defacto. Is this illegal? And will I be able to tell the ATO that I am in a defacto and together we are under the threshold? I never even thought about this as my taxes are done by the accountant and I just sign the papers. THANKS!"

By: Designer899 on Mar 17, 2016 11:40PM

"If you were genuinely in a defacto relationship then you can both do an amendment to your tax returns to show you had a spouse."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 20, 2016 6:19PM

"Hi, I have a scenario. My husband and I built a house to live in 4 years ago. The house build cost $380,000. In August last year we rented it out and were located elsewhere for work purposes. Prior to moving out the house was valued at $460,000. If we were to sell now for say 440,000 what would be the CGT implications on this. We still get mail to the residence also. Next question, in the purchase of this property I put in $190,000 cash (money I previously had from payout). The remaining loan is $190,000. The loan is in both of our names. Hubby is now the income earner for the family. Due to the fact my half of the house has been paid off prior to turning it in to a rental, does that allow us to offset the interest etc from the loan against his tax ONLY? I understand that half the account keeping, insurances etc would have to be split and 50-50 ownership of property is affective. hos earning including from the rental will be approx $85-90,000 this year and mine would be approx $25,000. Any help would be great! "

By: RachaelM on Mar 20, 2016 1:19PM

"1. If you are renting elsewhere, you can claim the Principal Place of Residence exemption to avoid CGT for a further 6 years after moving out. 2. If you can demonstrate that the loan was purely for your husband's half of the property then you could attribute the interest against his share of the rent. "

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 20, 2016 6:23PM

"Hi. Can a person own a property, live in it with the defacto and charge rent to the defacto through a rental agency. thanks "

By: Annette on Mar 30, 2016 10:04AM

"Not really Annette. But not sure why you would do this as apart from losing 7.7% to the agent, your property would then become subject to capital gains tax should you sell it down the track. Any rent charged would need to be at an arms-length rate (ie not a token amount to maximise any negative gearing)."

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 09, 2016 3:38PM

"Hi, I own a property. If my partner moves in and I charge him rent, can I claim rental property deductions in my tax return. Thanks"

By: Julie on Mar 31, 2016 8:19AM

"You can Julie but please note that the rent charged must be an 'arms-length' amount (ie not a token amount). If you are renting only part of property then only a portion (based on sqm/total sqm) of the expenses would be claimable. Note that the property would remain subject to CGT down the track as you derive any income from it."

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 09, 2016 3:41PM

"Hi, I live with my wife and children in a house that is 100% in her name. I have purchased the house next door in my name (separate title). I plan to live in the next door house - we will knock down the fences and share the yards. All the utility connections, rates, etc will be in her name for her property, and my name for my property. Can I claim PPR for the house in my name, and she claim it for the house in her name. We are not separated or divorced or anything - we just wanted more space."

By: Paul on Apr 10, 2016 10:35PM

"Yes the properties will be treated as your PPRs"

By: Mr Taxman on May 21, 2016 12:40PM

"I understand that if your family's taxable income is within a phase in limit (which is based on number of dependants) you can qualify for a medicare levy reduction. What I don't understand is how the ATO apportions this exemption between the taxpaying members of the family?"

By: Steve on Apr 14, 2016 1:45PM

"The key is hat each spouse correctly shows their spouse's income in their respective tax returns to assist the ATO with calculating the medicare levy."

By: Mr Taxman on May 21, 2016 12:42PM

"Hello, I was married on 23/4/16 so will be noting that in our tax return as having a spouse. With regards to the MLS, are we assessed for the full year as a couple then or only from 23/4/16? My husband had PHI for the full year, but I did not get it until early March. We would be over the MLS threshold as a couple, but individually I will fall just below the threshold. I'm wondering if I will be liable for the MLS for any/all of the year? Thanks in advance!"

By: Sharon on May 02, 2016 11:26PM

"Congrats on your marriage Sharon! Yes the ATO takes into account your whole year income as a couple when determining the MLS threshold and will then prorata the MLS for the period that you didn't have appropriate private hospital cover during your period that you are married."

By: Mr Taxman on May 21, 2016 12:47PM

"Hi we are a young couple with 2 kids age 4 and 2 making $65K each combining $130K per year. What are the deductions and what can be get back from the ATO? We renting a house and do not own any property. I paid my tax plus $3000 K hecs help as well. Please advice what should we claim back? Thanks a lot Kirat"

By: Kirat on May 11, 2016 4:13AM

"Probably worthwhile going to see a tax agent re: deductions. Biggest deductions revolve around work-related expenses such as car travel, home office (internet, computer, stationery, etc), work uniform. no deductions for having kids nor being married."

By: Mr Taxman on May 21, 2016 12:49PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, Hope you're well. I have an investment property which is negatively geared. My partner (and I) would like to transfer regular savings amounts to me to see how she'll go with mortgage repayments when we buy a property together down the track. Are there any tax implications for me in regards to: - her money offsetting my property loan? - having regular deposits from her into my account? (I.e. Is that considered income for me?) Thanks!"

By: Tim on May 18, 2016 12:59AM

"Sounds like an awesome girl you have there Tim! No tax implications for you getting funds from her to reduce your loan. All the best in the future."

By: Mr Taxman on May 21, 2016 12:50PM

"Hi, my husband lost his job just before easter and has been financially dependent on me, because he doesn't qualify for any centrelink benefits. Can I claim any type of offset for him this year?"

By: Sue on May 25, 2016 12:36AM

"I am sorry to hear that he lost his job Sue. Unfortunately he probably has earnt too much in the 2015/16 year already for any benefits to potentially receive. So it would be the matter of checking again after 1 July 2016 if you would be entitled to anything in 2016/17 but note that if he goes back to work again you would have to repay back whatever is received as a family."

By: Mr Taxman on May 26, 2016 1:21AM

"Hi, I recently complete some work painting a house for a lady that got the job and couldn't do it for the owner so she hired me to do it. After I completed the job she refused to pay and all hell broke loose and request a invoice with abn which I don't have, can I get my partner to do a invoice for me and use her abn number to get our once off payment? or do I need my own? thanks,ed"

By: ED on Jun 01, 2016 11:33AM

"You really need to get your own ABN. If you don't produce an ABN then she is entitled to withhold 49% tax from your payment"

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 06, 2016 11:28PM

"Hi Mr Taxman I hope you can help me with the below query. My wife and I recently bought an investment property with my parents. The property was purchased under our names ( my parents and ours) and not with a trust. We own 50% of the property with bank borrowed funds and my parents own 50% of the property with cash funds. Both my wife and I work full time and my parents are retired. Are we able to off set our income tax with the full amount of loan interests? And are we able to distribute the deductions between my wife and I? ( E.g. apply all deductions to the highest income) Thank you. "

By: Jose Garcia on Jun 04, 2016 3:28PM

"While there is no issue allocating the interest on the loan against yourselves only, other deductions on the property (such as rates, water, repairs, depreciation, agents commission, etc) will need to be allocated amongst all parties."

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 06, 2016 11:30PM

"hello, my husband and I are going to separate shortly. we have 2 children. and have worked out a mutual agreement for their care. me 100%, him giving me the agreed child support in cash (not going to court over it). what does he need to do, to remove us dependants off his tax return? he is considered a low income earner too, will us being removed effect his refunds at all? thanks shelly"

By: shelly on Jun 09, 2016 3:22AM

"Sorry to hear. He merely needs to show no dependents in his tax return & the date that ye stopped being spouses. He can also show how much income support he pays in the 'Income Tests' section of his tax return. There should be no impact to his refunds as pretty much family benefits are via the Family Assistance Office these days."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 10, 2016 9:02AM

"Hi. My partner is sole trader and I do a lot of running around for him, dropping materials at jobs, invoicing, quotes, tax etc. There is something to do 4 days out of the week. We don't have the money to actually pay me through the year but was wondering is it legal to pay myself enough income for him to move to the lower tax bracket ($80,000)...and mine would be say $20,000. Do we need to do anything official to set this up? "

By: Sarah on Jun 17, 2016 3:58AM

"My mum used to do the same thing for my dad (a bricklayer) about 25 years ago! Unfortunately the ATO introduced Personal Service Income (PSI) rules a few years ago & you cannot claim a tax deduction for your spouse doing those incidental admin jobs which I think is ridiculous. "

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 10, 2016 9:05AM

"Hi Mr. Taxman, I really don'T know whether I should put my husband as my spouse in my tax return. We married 4 years ago in overseas. 2 years ago we had a fight. I moved out, bought my apartment and have been living there since then. We got back together just few months after our fight. However, we decided to keep our residence separate so we can have more private space, but we will spend at least 3 nights a week and some weekends together in my place. Our finance is always be independent. Since he is running his own business, it is very hard for me to get an income estimation on him. I don'T want to ask him as well. Regardless the benefit issues, can I just decare that I am single? Will this affect my marriage status? Will there be any other implications. BTW, this is my first tax return filing. Thanks a lot for your advice."

By: Alice on Jun 25, 2016 11:41PM

"Sound like he is your spouse as per the definition so I would declare him on your tax return. I suggest you simply ask him what his assessable income is & put a reasonable estimate in your return if you don't know the actual number. It will only have impact if you are trying to claim government benefits or don't have private hospital cover & over the combined income thresholds."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 10, 2016 9:09AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, My partner is a sole trader, with ABN working from home in a dedicated home office. Based on this she can deduct certain occupancy expenses based on the floorspace of the home office relative to the house as well as number of hours that the office is utilised. The catch is that I am the mortgage holder and make all the running cost and occupancy expense payments from our joint account. Can she still claim the deduction? Thanks much! "

By: Erik on Jun 28, 2016 8:41AM

"Simply rule for claiming anything is whether you incur the expenditure. If you don't then you can't claim regardless of whether it is deductible in nature. Note that by claiming the expenses may result in the property being assessed for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in the future."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 10, 2016 9:11AM

"Hi, my spouse moved out on 3rd Nov 2015. I do not have access to his taxable income so what do I do about that section of the tax form? Thanks."

By: Linda on Jul 03, 2016 12:49AM

"Sorry to hear about that Linda. I suggest that do a best estimate. The ATO/Family Assistance Office will adjust any government benefits down the track if you are out so best to be conservative (ie show a higher income than what you think it is)."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 10, 2016 9:12AM

"If me and my husband both purchased electric vehicles that qualify for the electric car federal tax rebate can we both get the $7500 tax rebate totaling 15,000?"

By: Jessica on Jul 03, 2016 7:05AM

"No idea. I only look after Australian tax issues, not US ones."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 10, 2016 9:37AM

"As my partner and I now have children, I am only working part time. My problem this year is that I only paid a small amount in tax - but both of our investment properties are in my name. Even though we will have made a loss on our properties and they were serviced by my defacto's pay, does this mean they can only be taken off the tax that I paid? In other words, we will only be able to get back the small amount of tax I paid and these to not be taken into consideration in the tax my partner paid? "

By: Samantha Morey on Jul 09, 2016 4:25AM

"Unfortunately Samantha only you can claim the negative gearing losses in your tax return & thus your refund will be low. The upside is that if your income remains low & you sell your properties down the track for a profit then there won't be as much Capital Gains Tax (CGT) to pay by you compared if it was in your partner's name. A good example that tax planning is important before entering into a transaction."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 10, 2016 9:39AM

"I separated from my husband during the 15/16 tax year. We owned a rental property for a portion of the same year. He has all the documentation from the rental and is refusing to share it or the figures he used to fill in his tax return. I have no taxable income, and I know the rental was negatively geared. Do i need to legally obtain the documents or can I still do a 'don't need to do a tax return' declaration. Thanks"

By: Sarah on Jul 21, 2016 1:17PM

"I suggest that you find a way to get the figures as any share of negative gearing losses you could claim in future tax returns once you start earning an income again. "

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2017 3:21AM

"Hi, Mr. Tax Man, I legally separated from my husband Nov 1, 2015. I started receiving spousal support in Dec 2015. I had always been a stay at home mom until May 2016 when I became employed. Our taxes have always been handled by my husbands accountant. We have never qualified for any benefits as my husband earned to much money. My questions are can he still claim me for the 2015 year or do I need to file my own taxes? Can he claim me for the 2016 year? Will I be penalised for the spousal support by the ATO? "

By: Rene on Jul 24, 2016 1:21PM

"Spousal support not assessable in the ATO's eyes. You will need to complete your own taxes. Here is a checklist to see if you need to lodge a tax return"

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2017 3:19AM

"If my husband and I separated in February 2016, how do I enter his gross income, can I enter it as $0."

By: KARYN on Aug 01, 2016 12:26AM

"You will need to estimate his income for the year & show the part year dates that you were together "

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2017 3:16AM

"Hi I separated with my ex in May last year, we have 2 children. He does not pay child support as we have an agreement for him to pay child care costs and part rent. I still have him on my private health policy. Does the ATO still consider him as my spouse?"

By: Jessica on Aug 20, 2016 1:09PM

"Need to look at all the facts but if you are separated & he is not livng with you then the ATO would not consider ye to be spouses."

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2017 3:15AM

"Hi Mr Taxman I've got a small conundrum with my new partner since July 2015. I've always done my tax return and I'm completing my 2016 return at the moment, however she has never done a return (although intends to get this sorted in the next 12 months) My concern is that if I put her name in as my partner and put an income estimate on my return, it will be picked up that she is a non lodger and she will then be fined, rather than doing the returns herself through an accountant. Any comments would be greatfully received! "

By: John on Sep 20, 2016 6:46AM

"You shoul ddisclose the correct info in your return. More than likely she will be fined eventually - tell her to sort herself out sooner rather than later."

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2017 3:14AM

"Hi Mr Taxman. Me and my husband have brought an investment property. I do not earn enough to pay tax (self employed), does this mean that my husband can claim 100% of the investment property back in his tax return?"

By: Mandy Smith on Sep 21, 2016 4:32AM

"Unfortunately not - it needs to be split in the proportions that you [urchased it in."

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2017 3:13AM

"Hi, I work in Perth city on a 6 days on and 6 days off roster. I live with my wife and children in Bunbury 2 hours drive away, so have purchased a unit in Perth where I stay for my duration of work. I stay in the unit for half the year and it is never rented out. Our family home is owned outright and is in my wife's name. I have two investment properties in my name and the unit that I live in whilst in Perth is in both names. In regards to CGT, can I claim any exemption on the unit? and can I claim owner occupier interest rates? Thanks Mr Taxman"

By: Mick Wilson on Sep 23, 2016 1:10AM

"My husband received a large lump sum from his work place. In order to pay less tax on this lump sum he wants to pay me a salary (I do not work). He is operating as a sole trader. Is this legitimate and how do we proceed. "

By: lacey webb on Sep 29, 2016 2:37AM

"Not legitimate. You need to be able to demonstrate that a) you are performing duties to be paid; b) the pay rate is fair & reasonable for the line of work that you are doing. For example, the ATO would come down on ye like a ton of bricks if he ran a bricklaying business & he paid you $150,000 per annum for answering phones 2 days per week."

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2017 3:09AM

"I bought an investment property in my name. The 100% loan against it is secured by the investment property and my wife and I's principal place of residence (which is in my wife's name, against which I had an undrawn line of equity, and achieved via a guarantee from my wife). We commenced this arrangement when I was primary breadwinner. My wife's income is now surpassing mine, and I was thinking of taking time off work. Is there any way (without need of incurring stamp duty on transfer) for my wife to get the negative gearing benefits, rather than me? "

By: Greg on Oct 05, 2016 1:42PM

"Probably need to ask a lawyer/conveyancer that question but I don't think you can transfer an investment property without incurring stamp duty - possible for a principle place of residence though "

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2017 3:12AM

"Hi Mr taxman. I heard that if you move to your investment property to live for 6 months, that property will become residential. And that you can get away with paying tax when you sell the house. I've been renting that house outo for 10 years. So will I get away with tax if I move in? Thanks so much . Sorry for my bad English."

By: Anh nguyen on Oct 15, 2016 6:23AM

"Great in theiry but sadly one of those wives tales that are out there which are wrong. Capital gains tax is pro-rated bteween the period you live in it & th eperiod you rent it out for. So if you were to sell this place after 6 months of living in it then 120/126 of the gain would be subject to tax - reduced by 50% 12 month rule. HOWEVER, if you originally lived in place for first 6 months & then rented it out - provided you didn't have another principal place of residence - you could claim the first 6 years of renting CGT free."

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2017 3:07AM

"Hi, My husband and I just separated. We still have the home together that I live in. Now I am looking to buy an investment property however my ex says that it effects his taxable income. I am not sure this is the case if we are separated. Is he correct, that if I buy an investment it effects his taxable income?"

By: Karena on Oct 20, 2016 12:15AM

"No impact on him."

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2017 3:04AM

"Hello please help me understand thus. If one spouse earns $80000 plus super say and other spouse earns little I'd anything. Can the $80k be put into a family trust and both share the income to pay less tax, as are a couple married at law? Thanks"

By: Fan on Oct 25, 2016 2:27AM

"Great question - but sadly not. You cannot transfer/share income from wages. Potentially if you were running a business you could consider having it in a trust or company structure. I have always said that joint tax returns should happen here in Australia because a couple with one spouse earning $80k pays more tax than a couple who both earn $40k. "

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2017 3:03AM

"Hello, I'm in a de facto relationship and we declare eachother on our tax returns re: the medicare levy, but our finances are completely separate. Would the tax department have the right to ask me to repay my defacto's tax debt?"

By: JJ on Oct 26, 2016 2:01AM

"No you wouldn't be liable for thier tax debt - however if there is any adjustment to medicare levy surcharge due to joint incomes then you are liable for what your own assessment says is owing."

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2017 3:00AM

"My spouse is applying to have the remainder of a large tax debt waived due to financial hardship. Will the ATO say he isn't in financial hardship if I'm fully supporting him financially? He has no assets aside from super which he can't access yet."

By: JJ on Jun 01, 2017 2:10AM

"My husband and I divorced in 2011 and our assets were split 50/50 via the Magistrates Court (as a request from our mutual agreement). Our assets included 2 rental properties in which were always rental assets. Titles were transferred from both our names to one name on each Title, via a Court Order, so no Stamp Duty was paid and as each of us received one house. My question is, as we both own these properties independently now, what happens to the GCT prior to our Divorce should one (or both) decide to sell the property(ies)? I understand as of 2011, we are liable for GCT separately, but I'm not sure how the ATO works out the previous years' GCT? Many thanks."

By: NP on Nov 15, 2016 5:04PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I will breakdown my question in 2 parts: 1. I bought my investment property in June 2013. I got married and moved into this property on August 2014. I have transferred the title of the property from my name to joint name in September 2016. The stamp duty was waived off, however I understand that I have to pay part CGT, as it was originally an investment property. Would the capital gains be halved as I am transferring half the property? 2. If we were to sell the property in a future date, I know my wife will not incur any CGT. But would I be liable for CGT again? As when the transfer of title was done, the property was owner occupied already. Thanks for your help!"

By: JW on Jan 03, 2017 2:39AM

"I woul dexpect that the CGT would be applicable to you only"

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2017 2:58AM

"My ex-partner and I broke up at the end of August 2016 and I am now a sole parent who receives Family Tax Benefit. My ex-partner has not does his tax return for the 2015/16 financial year and therefore I am ineligible to receive a FTB advance through Centrelink as "balancing is in progress". We are not on speaking terms. Is there any way to enforce that he do his tax return for that year, or any way to bypass "balancing in progress"through Centrelink so that I can receive a FTB advance payment? Do I call the ATO and tell them has has not done his tax return?"

By: Melanie on May 05, 2017 12:26AM

"nice work thank you"

By: AFL Sports news on May 08, 2017 10:01AM

"My boyfriend and I have been together for six years and live together, but we have separate finances. Do we have to file a joint tax return?"

By: Lauren on Jun 06, 2017 2:19AM

"Hello, I got married overseas in December 2016, My wife is still overseas. She doesnt work and i have provided her sustenance from here. Can I claim deduction on partner ? Thanks"

By: SK on Jun 24, 2017 8:48AM

"I could not understand the concept of Individual tax return. My wife is working in Australia and paying her taxes separately and I am working overseas on permanent job but I am still considered as resident for tax purpose and paying tax separately. How I can be treated as non resident for tax purpose. I have no concerns of paying taxes if I am living in the country but why I should be paying taxes when I am not claiming any services and my wife is paying taxes being in Australia."

By: Arvind Dhir on Jun 25, 2017 7:55AM

"Hi! I am an Australian citizen working in Australia, my spouse, who is an American citizen, is not an Australian citizen nor does she have permanent residency. She is visiting on a visitor visa returning the united states every 3 months. She therefore does not work in Australia but we do file joint taxes in the USA as I am also an American citizen. I have declared that I am married to her on my Australian tax return. Do I need to report any of the income she made in the USA? Thanks in advance for any input can share! "

By: Jeff on Jul 05, 2017 1:26PM

"When doing my tax online, when I put in my spouses taxable income, my tax refund estimate reduced. We have no dependents, we have private health. I thought my spouse has no impact on my tax?Thanks"

By: Shayne on Jul 09, 2017 9:07AM

"My partner and I separated this year and we had very basic and standard consent orders agreed on. I received a $20000 cash payout. Do I have to pay tax on this amount?"

By: Timothy on Jul 13, 2017 6:26AM

"My husband and I both lost our spouses about 5 years ago. We married a little over 1 1/2 years ago; however, we do not live together. As we wanted to wait for his daughter to complete her HSC and we lived quite far from each other, we waited to establish our combined home...this will go forward by the end of the year, but for now I am curious about the tax implications. My husband has already lost some govt financial support for his daughter and I also will not receive my husbands social security (I'm originally from the US) because I remarried at 59 1/2 ... turns out if you marry again before 60 you are not entitled. Oh well. Thanks for any response."

By: Carol on Jul 13, 2017 10:08AM

"My wife and I have a combined income in excess of the levy although her taxable income is nearly nothing. Do we pay the levy twice ie .with each of our individual returns?"

By: Dave on Jul 17, 2017 8:52PM

"I dstarted my own business in febuary 2017 I am running at a loss can my husband claim against his income as he has financed me for stock and equipment etc"

By: Annette Maloney on Jul 24, 2017 7:53AM

"I have private health insurance (single) but my same-sex partner doesn't. How does this affect the medicare levy surcharge? What about lifetime cover penalties?"

By: Michael on Jul 30, 2017 1:49AM

"hi, i run a small business that is yet to turn a profit as my start up expenses were high. Is it possible to offset these losses against my husband income?"

By: heidi on Aug 15, 2017 11:19PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I am married to my wife for 3 years now and it is the first time for us to lodge tax return in AU as we moved here in June 2016. I opened a personal bank account and deposited some money from which I got interest which I need to declare. Me and my wife practically share all our wealth so this interest is just as mine as hers. I worked part time from Feb 2017, so have to declare wage as well. If I declare all on my tax number I will go over the threshold. Can I lodge bank interest with my wife tax return? Cheers "

By: Jure on Aug 16, 2017 5:39AM

"Hi. I came to Australia as a de-facto spouse. I have recently taken out a couples private health insurance policy for my partner and I and a reciprocal health care plan ontop for my partner only as he will earn over the threshold for the levy and I will not. If we do individual tax returns is this cover ok to avoid the levy? Or may I still be liable?"

By: Lucy Howe on Aug 20, 2017 7:20AM

"HI Mr Taxman, I am part time UBER driver. Since my full time job salary is high and my wife is unemployed, can I get my wife buy a car and rent to me? Each week I pay part of my UBER income as car hire fee to my wife?"

By: Peter on Oct 17, 2017 3:42AM

"I finish full time job in April and started to learn foreign currency trading. Attended a $5000 course and practiced in a $1000 account. Learned $200 by end of Month. Can I deduct the $5000 course/membership fee against the $200 income? thanks"

By: jasmin on Oct 23, 2017 6:13AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I was in a de facto relationship with my ex and was registered in VIC. We seperated 3 months ago. Do I still need to include him as spouse in this years tax return ? also I'm looking to buy a property. my ex bought a house before we met but this is under his name, am I still considered as first home buyer?"

By: Lilian on May 05, 2018 7:33AM

"Hi, I got married last year and my husband is not working, can I split my income with him somehow to reduce my tax. I earn $87,000 per year. If so, how do I do that?"

By: Sharon on May 09, 2018 1:29AM

"Mr Taxman I have been separated from my Wife since October 2017 and live in a defacto relationship with my new partner since Feb 2018. Which one would be considered my spouse for the ATO ??"

By: Craig on Jul 23, 2018 6:37AM

"My partner and I have had an investment property in the past, but have now sold it. Because my tax is simple nowadays I was going to do it myself.The problem is that my partner has a separate investment property and gets her tax done by her accountant. We are in a Catch 22 situation where I need to know her taxable income to fill in my tax, and her accountant needs my taxable income to do hers. I have two questions. Why does her taxable income impact on my return? How do we get around the Catch 22?"

By: Shane on Aug 02, 2018 4:38AM

"Hi! Would we be better off buying an investment property in the much higher earing spouses name as the other spouse earns well under the tax free threshold and is primarily a stay at home parent? Thanks so much :)"

By: Mel on Oct 28, 2018 11:48PM

"A really interesting question Mel. Whilst negative gearing of a rental property is great for the higher earning spouse as there is a nice tax deduction which comes back to them, it comes to bite you in the bum when you try to sell the place down the track & you have a hefty Capital Gains Tax bill on the highest tax bracket (and then you wished it was in the lower earning spouse's name). It really isn't until you have sold a property that you can fully work out the best ownership structure tax wise for a couple but the dilemma is that you have to make the decision at the very beginning (why I am a big advocate for a combined tax return for a couple). As a hedge I like doing a 75/25 split in favour of "

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 04, 2020 9:36PM

"I’m separated (since start of May this year). When I get my tax return do I need to split or share this return with my husband? (Sorry, ex or whatever he is now...) Thanks!"

By: Marnie on Jun 11, 2019 3:07AM

"Your refund is your asset. It would be up to the courts to determine if you have to share your assets when you settle your split."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 04, 2020 9:28PM

"I hope you can help. My husband left Dec 31 2017 and the only interaction we have had this financial year is the sale of our home, for which we made a loss. I don't know where he lives, how much he earns, nothing. He's even blocked me from contacting him. But we are still legally married, in the process of divorce. Do I need to list him as a spouse? "

By: Emma on Jun 11, 2019 11:15AM

"Sorry to hear Emma. Generally speaking when it comes to completing your income tax return and including spouse details, a spouse includes another person who: * you were in a relationship with that was registered under a prescribed state or territory law, (which applies to you) * although not legally married to you, lived with you on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple In your situation you will still need to include an estimate of your spouse's details as you are still technically married. All you can do is a best guess & the ATO will look after the rest."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 04, 2020 9:22PM

"I’m looking to do my tax return myself online this year, have previously used a tax agent. I’ve never given my spouses details before when using an agent. I do not live permanently with him, nor do we have children together or private health insurance He is selfemployed , and is terrible at all his taxes. Do I have to list his details when I’ve never done so before? "

By: Hannah Snelling on Oct 30, 2019 4:09AM

"The ATO defines your spouse as "a person (of any sex) who: you are in a relationship with that is registered under a prescribed state or territory law. although not legally married to you, lives with you on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple." So if you are not leaving with him then their is no need to disclose his income & details in your tax return."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 02, 2020 9:10PM

"Does my accountant have access to my registered relationship eg: will they know who I am in a relationship with and since when? Al"

By: al on Oct 31, 2019 6:43AM

"Your accountant will only see who your spouse is from your last tax return details … or what you tell them. "

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 02, 2020 9:08PM

"hi, I am currently a housewife and I plan to start a business. I do not want to mention this income to my husband when we do our individual tax returns. (I love my husband but he is stubborn and he mishandles his own income and he frequently give loans to many people by making loans under his name.) I would like to protect my business income from him. I am thinking of setting up a "company structure" for the business and get its own tax file number so it will pay its own taxes and have separate tax filing. I am thinking of making myself an employee of the business and receive minimum wage, and I will pay tax on this, and report this wage income to my husband. However, I do not know how to access the remaining profit from the business. If I make an owner's drawing from the profit, then I need to declare this in my individual income tax return, which will then make me inform my husband on this when he does his individual tax return. could you please give advice on this? I feel trapped and cornered on ATO's requirement of putting spouse income in each other's individual tax return. I also feel that ATO violated my right to keep private my earnings from my spouse as well. If you have other ideas or solutions on how I can address my situation, I would highly appreciate to hear. Thank you very much. "

By: happy on Feb 04, 2020 11:33AM

"Hi Happy Unfortunately its an ATO requirement to include each other's spouses income in your respective tax returns. A company structure can be good for some asset protection but the company will need to be owned by someone. If you own the shares then its an asset that could potentially be accessed from creditors & predators so perhaps worthwhile talking with a lawyer about your particular situation & see the risk of that. The gap between what the company earns & your minimum wage - ie the remaining profit - could be either taken as a wage, or extra money into super (which provides greater asset protection) or paid as a dividend to you as a shareholder (which would need up in your tax return anyway). "

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 02, 2020 9:17PM

"I am sole trader working from home, owning 2 brands and having 2 more at start up stages. My income has been very low, mostly loss for the past two years. Can my husband claim the instant asset write off for me from his tax return? He has been investing heavily in my business ideas for past few years (involved into running business). Or does he need to have ABN and the brands under his name to be able to claim any tax offsets? Thank you for your advice!"

By: Tatiana on Jun 03, 2020 9:57AM

"No he couldn't claim Tatiana. Also worth noting that it is offset against any business income so if you make a net business loss then that is quarantined & can't be offset against salary & wage or other investment income (unless you satisfy the >$20k turnover rule or a few other tests)"

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 05, 2020 4:52AM

"Hi. It’s so not fair that I have to pay Medicare levy surcharge whilst making 50 000 per year and my De facto parter makes 140000 he can afford private insurance and he doesn’t have to pay. My question is in that case who am I paying Medicare surcharge for ? "

By: Berenika Goncerz on Jul 15, 2020 4:37AM

"I agree that it sucks when you have to either pay the Medicare Levy surcharge (if you have no cover) or you have to repay some of the excess rebate received (because you do have cover but go over the various income thresholds either as an individual or as a couple). Before you make any rash decision to cancel your cover, ask your tax agent to calculate how much tax that would have had to pay as c a couple if you didn't have the hospital cover in the first place. Suggest you contact your private health provider & let them know that your combined income is over the $180k threshold & they will adjust your monthly premiums accordingly."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 18, 2020 12:27AM

"My partner and I are wanting to get married. Unfortunately he has alit of tax debt from when he was a teenager. How or will this affect our tax returns once married? "

By: BM on Jun 05, 2021 2:14AM

"The debt will have no impact on your returns but any future refunds that he is entitled to needs to be offset against that debt. May I recommend that he arranges a payment plan with the ATO ASAP."

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By: Denis Clara on Sep 09, 2021 1:33AM

"I am an Australian citizen but also a US permanent resident for the past year. I was in australia for 3 months in the current tax year and I did not make any Australian income but I did make foreign income in the US. My husband is an American citizen and we married in the US - my question is for my tax return do I put in I had a spouse for the year? It is not registered in Australia that we are married and he is not an Australian resident. He did not make any money in Australia only in the US? When I click I did have a spouse for the year it comes with questions as though he is an Australian resident - that is where it puts me off. Do I just say no for that question or say yes and just enter his foreign income and everything else 0? Thanks!"

By: Natalie on Jul 14, 2022 5:37PM

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