Introduction to this document

Bank account declaration of beneficial ownership

Interest received on a bank account held jointly with your spouse/civil partner is taxed on you equally, even where the actual ownership of the funds in the account is not 50/50. However, you can send an election to HMRC asking to be taxed on your actual share of interest where it is other than 50/50. HMRC may require evidence to support your election, such as a declaration of beneficial ownership.

HMRC changes its mind

Until 2011 HMRC wouldn’t allow an election in respect of interest earned on a joint bank, or similar, account because it said it wasn't possible to own money in the account other than 50/50. It has now changed its mind, but to take advantage of this you'll need an agreement with your spouse which states how the capital and interest in your joint account is split. This is where you can use our simple Bank Account Declaration of Beneficial Ownership to show the tax liability according to the respective shares of interest paid.

An election must be made in the exact form specified in the legislation. You can download a form (Form 17) from GOV.UK for this purpose (

Our declaration can be used to support the election.