In bringing forward the necessary legislation to provide for the changes to tax legislation arising from the enactment of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, (the Civil Partnership Act), I advised this House that the new legislation (subsequently Finance (No. 3) Act 2011) would ensure that registered civil partners receive the same tax treatment as married couples in respect of income tax, stamp duty, capital acquisitions tax, capital gains tax and VAT. This comprehensive body of legislation recognised the new status of civil partnerships for tax purposes and set out the various rights, entitlements and obligations that apply to civil partners with regard to taxation. For example, it allowed civil partners to avail of the tax bands and tax credits, which are available to married couples. It also provided for similar capital taxes and stamp duty reliefs on the transfer of property by gift or inheritance. As a result, transfers of property between civil partners now qualify for the same exemption from stamp duty as is given to married couples.
This legislation provides for equitable tax treatment for same-sex couples in a registered civil partnership. Where individuals choose to cohabit rather than enter a civil partnership then they continue to be treated for tax purposes as single persons, such tax treatment being consistent with the treatment of opposite-sex cohabitants. Other information on tax and civil partners including ‘Frequently Asked Questions on Taxation and Civil Partnership’ is available on the Revenue website www.revenue.ie.