Finance Bill – Same-sex couple boost

Same-sex couples with children are to benefit from an anomaly in the Finance Bill which could give them a big-ger children’s tax credit than mixed-sex couples.

In a move likely to be seized on as another snub to marriage, the size of the tax credit – unveiled in last month’s Budget as a replacement for the married couples allowance – for mixed-sex couples will be based on the income of the higher earner. Same-sex couples, however, will be able to choose on whose income the benefit is based and potentially boost their benefits.

Francesca Lagerberg, of the English ICA’s tax faculty, said: ‘It’s not a big deal, but it’s still an anomaly.’

The controversy surfaced as the Institute of Directors used its Budget submission to criticise the government for imposing a ‘back-door’ tax on employee mobile phone use.

The Budget scrapped the tax charge on providing employees with mobile phones. But the IoD said VAT inspectors have continued to require employers to pay VAT on employees’ private use of mobile phones.

The Confederation of British Industry – chaired by Sir Clive Thompson – said VAT inspectors should be told not to police mobile phone users.

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