Next tax year I will lose £1 of my personal allowance for every £2 of my taxable income that exceeds £100,000. To avoid this loss of allowance, can my wife and I elect for the interest on our joint bank accounts to be treated as belonging entirely to her for tax purposes?
The income from jointly held bank accounts must always be split equally between the account holders for tax purposes, you cannot elect otherwise. To move the interest into your wife’s name for 2010/11 you need to take your name off the account before 6 April 2010. To achieve this you may have to close the account and open a new account in her sole name. If you have any fixed interest accounts that are due to mature and pay rolled-up interest on after 6 April 2010, you may want to close those accounts before that date. This will ensure the interest arises in the tax year 2009/10 and is taxed at 40% rather than at a marginal rate of 60% if it arises in 2010/11. Check the penalty clauses for closing the account early before you take action.