There are a few changes being made to the tax laws in 2012, notably the Personal Income Tax rule for married couples.
Previously, Sections 57 Ter and 57 Quinque of the Revenue Code stipulated that if your marriage existed throughout the tax year, you and your spouse must file a joint tax return with the opinion that a wife may select to file her employment income, Section 40(1) income, separately.
However, on 4 July 2012, the Constitutional Court ruled that Sections 57 Ter and 57 Quinque of the Revenue Code are in breach of the constitution. Consequently, those two sections are no longer applicable. Hence, the government passed an Emergency Act to change the rules for married couples as follows:
- You and your spouse can file a tax return jointly as before, for all types of income or
- You and your spouse can file a tax return jointly, however either you or your spouse may select to file income from employment (Section 40 (1)) separately from the joint income by using PND.91 tax form or
- You and your spouse can file separate tax returns for all types of income received and pay personal income tax separately. In the case where certain income cannot be clearly identified as yours or your spouse’s, the following rules shall apply:
- Sections 40(2) – 40(7) income must be proportioned equally between you and your spouse.
- Section 40(8) income can be proportioned equally or as agreed between you and your spouse. When you and your spouse agree on a proportion, you must notify the tax officer and pay income tax on that amount accordingly.
Note: If you and your spouse choose to file tax return jointly as in a) or b), you and your spouse are responsible for any tax payable incurred together. On the other hand, if you and your spouse choose to file tax return separately, each of you is responsible for any tax incurred separately as well.