HMRC Form 17 Income Tax declaration of beneficial interest in joint property and income from SAM Conveyancing
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HMRC Form 17 Income Tax Declaration for Married Couples

14/06/2020
(Last Updated: 08/12/2023)
1,981
7 min read
Key Takeaways
  • The HMRC Form 17 is a tax form for married couples who want to share property income in unequal shares.
  • The form is completed online and then posted to HMRC.
  • You need to include a declaration of trust confirming your unequal share in the property; normally, a deed of trust or a deed of assignment.
  • Tax is paid in the new shares for the next rental payment received once HMRC confirms receipt of Form 17.
  • You can only share rental income in unequal shares if you are tenants in common.
  • You have 60 days to file your Form 17 after you execute your declaration of trust.
  • You can download the form from the Government website.

The Form 17 and declaration of trust are used by married couples who own a buy-to-let property and want to share the rental income and sale proceeds in unequal shares, often because one pays less tax. The form is specific to married couples who jointly own property because HMRC assumes the income is shared 50:50 unless you declare differently.

You can share the rental income in any way you like: 90:10, 99:1, or even 100:0. You can also change the shares in the future with a new deed and a Form 17. Read more here - How to transfer rental income to spouse.

HMRC assume you own an equal share
Under the Income Tax Act 2007 Section 836 it states:

Jointly held property
(1)This section applies if income arises from property held in the names of individuals—
  1. who are married to, or are civil partners of, each other, and
  2. who live together.

(2)The individuals are treated for income tax purposes as beneficially entitled to the income in equal shares.

Without a declaration of trust and a Form 17, HMRC assumes that any income generated from jointly owned property, such as rent or capital gains, is shared equally (50/50). In cases where you own an unequal share of the beneficial interest in the property, you must complete a declaration and have a signed and witnessed declaration of trust such as a deed of assignment or a deed of trust.



If you currently hold the property as Joint Tenants, you can draft a Deed of Assignment for your shares, sever your joint tenancy and send the severance application to the Land Registry. Once this is completed, you can apply for the Form 17. We discuss how to do this in further detail in our article - Change from Joint Tenants to Tenants in Common.

How do you fill in a Form 17?


  • Your surname or family name
  • Your first name(s)
  • National Insurance number
  • Tax reference (if you have one)
  • Address of you and your spouse or civil partner - if UK or not
  • Your surname or family name
  • Your first name(s)
  • National Insurance number
  • Tax reference (if you have one)
  • Address of property held in joint names
  • Beneficial interest in this property - Your share (%)
  • Beneficial interest in this property - Spouse’s or civil partner’s share (%)


Remember to provide evidence with this form that your beneficial interests in the property are unequal, for example, a declaration or deed. You cannot use this form if you are entitled to the income in different proportions to your beneficial interest in the property.

You can't share capital gains in different shares to the rental income.
You may want to share rental income in one share and then any profit for CGT in another way; however, HMRC states, "A couple cannot make a declaration where the split of beneficial ownership of the asset and of the income from it differ. Nor do they have to declare even if they are entitled to. So you should not take the absence of a declaration as evidence that the beneficial ownership is split evenly".

You can, however, draft a new deed of trust and file a new form as many times as you like and as such, can do so just before the completion of the sale of the property.

You can read more on this and what capital gain tax is payable for married couples.


Need tax advice on your property transaction?

  • Get up-to-date property tax advice on SDLT, CGT, IHT, Personal versus partnership versus company structure.
  • Free 15-minute initial consultation with a qualified accountant from our panel of tax advisors.
  • Ask your tax questions and get guidance on what you can do next.
  • If there is some further accountancy work required, then you'll be quoted for this as a separate piece of work with no obligation to purchase.


When should you complete HMRC Form 17?


You should fill in a form if you:
  • are married or civil partnership couple;
  • own your property as tenants in common; and
  • own the property in unequal shares.
You can download the form from the Government website.

What happens if you haven't filed a Form 17 with HMRC?

Submitting a form is essential to apply for an unequal split of profits from property, as the case of Mr Deepak Koshal Mrs Minu Koshal v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 410 (TC) confirmed.

The case highlights how HMRC handles cases where spouses or civil partners look to share property income in unequal shares and don't declare the share in writing in a deed of trust or by filing a declaration. The ruling stated: "The review concluded that income from property held jointly by married couples and civil partners are treated as beneficially owned by the individuals in equal shares under ITA 2007 s.836. Consequently, the Appellants are taxable on income on a 50:50 basis. This rule applies even if the individuals own the property in unequal shares. It was pointed out that there were no signed declarations stating beneficial interest was held in any other way"

The case further confirms that the obligation to provide the correct information to the HMRC falls upon the taxpayer under the self-assessment tax system: "It must be remembered that it is the obligation of the taxpayer to make full disclosure under the self-assessment system."



When is an HMRC Form 17 required?


  • You can use this form to declare a beneficial interest if you hold property jointly, and
  • You own the property in unequal shares, and
  • You are entitled to the income arising in proportion to those shares, and
  • You want to be taxed on that basis.
  • you are not beneficially entitled to the property income
  • it is partnership income
  • it is income from the commercial letting of furnished holiday accommodation
  • it is income from shares in a close company
  • it is income which for tax purposes is treated as income of a third party, even if the income arises from property held in your joint names
  • it is property held in your joint names
  • property held as beneficial joint tenants where you are both jointly entitled to the whole of the property and income
  • property that is not held in unequal shares (you cannot choose to have the income taxed on an unequal basis because you think it would be to your advantage).


Do you need a declaration of trust Form 17?


Fixed fee of £240 INC VAT


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Drafted within 1-2 days Often on the same day
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Deeds Accepted by HRMC as Evidence of beneficial ownership for Tax Purposes
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For Form 17
Protect Your Interests with a Deed from SAM Conveyancing
Protect Your
Joint Shares


Where do you send the form to?

  • Execute a deed of trust (stating the unequal share of property income)
  • File a Form 17 with HMRC (within 60 days of the date of the deed) and send it to Pay As You Earn and Self Assessment, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AS, United Kingdom
  • Share future rental income in unequal shares


Before executing the form, you are required to confirm the following;

We declare:
  • that we own this property beneficially in the proportions stated below; and
  • that we own any income from this property on the same basis.


Need tax advice on your property transaction?

  • Get up-to-date property tax advice on SDLT, CGT, IHT, Personal versus partnership versus company structure.
  • Free 15-minute initial consultation with a qualified accountant from our panel of tax advisors.
  • Ask your tax questions and get guidance on what you can do next.
  • If there is some further accountancy work required, then you'll be quoted for this as a separate piece of work with no obligation to purchase.
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Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Reviewed by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.


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