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Who has to pay tax debts in a married or married couple?

Verified 01 janvier 2022 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Tax solidarity is binding on spouses or partners of Civil partnerships subject to common taxation. They both have to pay their tax debts, even after their separation. However, a discharge is foreseen in some cases of serious financial difficulties.

Income tax

Spouses and partners of Civil partnerships, when subject to joint taxation, shall form one tax centre. They solidarity to pay their income tax.

In certain situations, the couple is not subject to joint taxation. Each spouse or partner is then taxed separately. Each person completes their own tax return. This is the case in the following situations:

  • The year of the marriage or Civil partnership if you choose separate taxation
  • The year of divorce, separation (in case of authorisation to have separate residences) or Civil partnership breakdown
  • If you are separated from property and do not live sustainably under the same roof
  • In the event of abandonment of the conjugal domicile, if each has separate income

Housing tax

Spouses and Civil partnership partners are solidarity for the housing tax, if they live under the same roof.

Property tax

Civil partnerships and partners are both responsible for paying the property tax.

Spouses or Civil partnership partners, if subject to joint taxation, shall be jointly and severally liable at tax level. They must pay the tax together.

In the absence of payment, the tax authority can claim the tax from either member of the couple.

In case of separation, everyone must pay the tax debts created during the common taxation.

You can be relieved of solidarity for a tax debt if the tax authority considers that you meet all of the following conditions:

  • Breaking your life together
  • Significant Disproportion Between Tax Debt and Your Financial Position
  • Compliance with your tax obligations (declaration, payment) since the break of the common life

You must send your discharge request (on free paper, with your supporting documents) to your tax centre.

Tax Services will examine your repayment capacity based on your resources (excluding current expenses such as rent and taxes) and your assets (excluding principal residence).

Your financial situation will be assessed over a period of up to 3 years.

When granted, the discharge shall cover the following:

  • Part of the tax owing
  • All or part of interest on late payment and penalties

  Please note : if you are granted a discharge, but you cannot pay the amounts that remain at your expense, you may request discount total or partial.