When can you settle with your spouse?


One of the privileges related to the settlement of personal income tax is certainly the joint settlement of the spouses. This form of submitting a PIT declaration has many advantages and benefits, but certain conditions must be met for the settlement to take place. The possibilities offered by joint taxation are mainly paying lower tax in a situation where one of the spouses obtained income in the previous tax year higher than the income of the other and at the same time exceeds the amount threshold of the higher tax rate.

Joint settlement consists in submitting only one PIT form, which contains personal data and income of both spouses. When one spouse submits the application to the office, he becomes the representative of the other spouse, and it also contains information about the joint settlement. There is no need to submit separate documents for this.

Calculating the amount of income tax in this form of settlement is not complicated - the sum of the spouses' income in the previous tax year is divided by two, then the tax is calculated on the amount obtained at the rate. In most cases, it does not exceed the 18% threshold for the rate of PLN 85,528. The tax value calculated in this way is multiplied by two, thus obtaining the final amount that each spouse must pay to the tax office.

Typical situations in which this form of settlements with the tax office is used are when one of the spouses does not earn income in a given tax year because he cares for the children - the only dependent is the husband or both of them have income, but only one of them exceeds the amount of PLN 85,528, i.e. they are taxed at the rate of 32%. In the event that one of the spouses did not obtain income from sources in the tax year or achieved income in the amount that does not cause the obligation to pay the tax, it may be taxed jointly with the spouse.

However, in order to be able to settle in this way, a number of conditions must be met, which are regulated by the Personal Income Tax Act. In particular, they can do so:

  • spouses who were jointly in property in the last tax year and at the same time were married for the entire period. It follows that persons who entered into a relationship during the tax year do not have the possibility to settle accounts on these principles;
  • spouses whose permanent place of residence is in Poland;
  • spouses who submitted a declaration on joint tax settlement by marking the appropriate box in the form. Importantly, the deadline for submitting the application cannot exceed the deadline for submitting the annual tax return;
  • spouses who are resident for tax purposes in a Member State of the European Union other than the Republic of Poland or in another country belonging to the European Economic Area or in the Swiss Confederation;
  • as above - however, if they achieved taxable income in the territory of the Republic of Poland in the amount of at least 75% of the total income earned by both spouses in a given tax year and have documented their place of residence for tax purposes with a certificate of residence;

It is worth mentioning that a taxpayer who entered into marriage before the beginning of the tax year, but his spouse died during it, or was married for the entire tax year, and his spouse died after that, he has the right to file a joint tax return.

Any income taxed differently than the tax scale is not subject to joint settlement. This privilege is also not available to spouses who have their own economic activity, regardless of whether they received income from it or not, which is taxed:

  • flat tax,
  • tax card,
  • lump sum registered - except if these revenues are obtained from rental, sublease, lease, sublease or other contracts of a similar nature, if these contracts are not concluded as part of business activity.
  • tonnage tax.

The act on personal income tax also shows that from the income of a parent or legal guardian subject to tax liability, who is a unmarried woman, bachelor, widow, widower, divorcee, divorcee or a person who has been separated within the meaning of separate regulations, or a married person, if their spouse has been deprived of parental rights or is serving a sentence of imprisonment, if the parent or guardian brings up their children alone in the tax year, the tax may be determined, upon application expressed in the annual tax declaration, in the double amount of tax calculated from half of the the income of a single parent.