The tax treatment of the family unit
The objective of this thesis is to determine a method for taxation of the family unit bearing in mind changing social and economic conditions. Before any criticism may be made, or improvewent suggested, a review of the existing state of the law is essential. Part I of this thesis therefore contains a statement of the law as it is today in the United Kingdom. First the income tax provisions which affect husband and wife are discussed dealing separately with the general rule, its three statutory exceptions, and the beginning and end of marriage. The income tax provisions as they affect children are then summarised and the capital taxes are reviewed. Part II then considers a number of studies and criticisms which have been made concerning the United Kingdom system dealing separately with the three main principles of aggregation, accountability and allowances. Part III summarises the manner in which the family unit is taxed in some other countries so that any helpful comparisons may be utilized; here the tax provisions are related to the legal systems in which they operate and separate consideration is therefore given to the common law jurisdictions, the civil code jurisdictions and the Scandinavian jurisdictions and a relationship between the property laws and the tax laws is noted. Finally, Part IV analyses the deficiencies of the United Kingdom system and contains recommendations for its reform. The conclusion is reached that husband and wife should no longer be deemed to be one person for tax purposes but should be treated in all respects as two individuals and that some recognition should be given by the tax system to the fact that children are separate individuals too. In this thesis the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1970 is referred to as The Taxes Act.