Civil Partnerships Print

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 (“CPA”) grants same-sex couples, identical rights under tax legislation as married couples. Between December 2019 and June 2020 the devolved governments of the UK also legislated to allow opposite sex couples to enter into Civil Partnerships. The main benefits include:

  • Exemption to IHT on the transfer of assets, without limit, on death from one civil partner to the other.
  • The lifetime transfer of assets from one civil partner to the other is treated on a nil gain/nil loss basis for the purposes of CGT.
  • A civil partner is entitled to pension rights in the same way that a widow/ widower becomes entitled to a pension on the death of a spouse.
  • Civil partners are entitled to the Married Couple’s Allowance subject to meeting the age criteria.

There are also certain disadvantages which will affect civil partners, which do not affect co-habiting couples, in particular:

The settlements legislation has been extended to treat civil partners as spouses.

  • Civil partners are treated as associates in determining the control of companies, and the number of associated companies.

References to “spouse”, “husband” or “wife” should be regarded as also referring to a civil partner on this website.

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