Family and tax

Supporting families – and marriage in particular – has been a key aspect of CARE’s work for many years. We believe the benefits of marriage reach far beyond husband and wife to wider family and society as a whole – please see more on marriage specifically here. With this in mind, we have campaigned to ensure the government recognises this, specifically through the tax system, by introducing transferable allowances for married couples.  To support this work we have been at the forefront of research into how families fare in the UK tax and benefits system.

At present, our tax system works against one-earner families – families with a stay-at-home spouse – who often have vital childcare or other caring responsibilities. By allowing the spouse who stays at home to transfer their personal tax-free income allowance to the working spouse, the overall tax burden on the household would be reduced.

Our tax system is very much focused on individual income, rather than on households or families, and does not recognise family responsibilities or marriage as one of the fundamental building blocks of society. One-earner families are not treated fairly when compared with other household or family types in the UK, or their peers across the developed world. In fact, of large developed countries, only the UK and Mexico fail to reflect the obligations of spouses in the way their tax system operates.

We have campaigned for the reintroduction of recognition of marriage in the income tax system, since it was removed in 2000. After an absence of 15 years, that recognition will return in April 2015.

However, this is just the first step!  Our long term goal is to continue to campaign for a fully transferable so that a non-earning spouse can transfer all of their tax allowance to their earning spouse.

Read our latest news on family and marriage here.

' So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it '

Genesis 1: 28 (NIV)