Mr. John Mark Taylor
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what instructions the Inland Revenue issues to its staff as to a wife's right to privacy and confidentiality of her personal tax matters.
§ Mr. Moore
In practice, tax offices will normally deal direct with a married women in matters concerning her own tax affairs though in law the husband is responsible for the couple's tax affairs and he must complete the return of their joint income when required. It is, however, open to either husband or wife to apply for separate assessment of income tax or capital gains tax. This does not affect the couple's total tax bill, but it makes both husband and wife responsible for handling their individual tax affairs and for the payment of their own share of the tax due. It also enables them to complete separate tax returns if they wish. Further information about current law and practice is given in chapter 2 of the Green Paper "The Taxation of Husband and Wife" (Cmnd. 8093).