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Should voluntary disclosure be the way forward for wife not declaring rental income?

Question A husband and wife have been letting out a house for 5 years, but not declaring the income. I have received a letter from HMRC asking about the rental income, but wife hasn't. As husband is higher rate taxpayer, they wanted the wife to receive most of the rental income. I don't think they can do this as the property is owned by both of them, and no form 17 has been been submitted. Am I correct? Also, as wife hasn't been contacted by HMRC, is it worth making a voluntary disclosure? Or is that a waste of time as she's only making the disclosure because husband has been contacted by HMRC and therefore the disclosure could be viewed as prompted?
Arthur Weller replies:
If the house is in joint names, and no Form 17 has been submitted, the rental income is attributed 50:50 to husband and wife, automatically. It is still worth making a voluntary disclosure to HMRC now for the wife, even though the husband has already been contacted by HMRC.

Property Tax Insider This sample question and answer is taken from Property Tax Insider, a monthly UK tax saving magazine for landlords and property investors.

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