Introduction to this document

Spouse’s job description

A business can pay a salary to the spouse or other family member of its owner if they work for it. Having a formal job description will help justify the amount paid if HMRC decides to challenge it.

spouse’s pay

The wages paid to a spouse will be tax deductible for the business if HMRC is happy that they are paid at a commercial rate for the work performed.

First assess exactly what your partner does for the business. Use our example of a Spouse’s Job Description to help you record their responsibilities. Next, calculate the average number of hours spent by your spouse per week or month on business activities. This can be tricky, but even a rough diary note made at the time is good evidence should HMRC ever seek to challenge the amount paid.

If your business is run through a company you should check that the gross wage you expect to pay to your spouse/partner is at least the national living wage (NLW). Unincorporated businesses that pay family members who live at home do not have to worry about the NLW. Remember, for the business to be guaranteed a tax deduction, the wage must actually be paid rather than just made as an accounting adjustment in the books.