Can I pay my spouse for secretarial duties?

Can I pay my spouse for secretarial duties?

You may employ staff and get tax relief for this cost, provided it is incurred wholly and exclusively for practice purposes. The staff you employ might include your spouse, and we frequently find that is the case.

You must be able to demonstrate that the payment you make is justified and it is not uncommon for HM Revenue & Customs to ask you to provide this justification.

It is important that you actually pay the remuneration. Strictly speaking, if you don’t pay it then you can’t claim it. We recommend you pay by setting up a monthly standing order for the avoidance of any doubt.

You must bear in mind there will be an employer/employee relationship. This means, depending on the level of the remuneration, you may have to set up a PAYE scheme. We can do this for you, or alternatively we can discuss the payment of a salary which, provided it can be justified, can be set just under the class 1 national insurance threshold, thus avoiding the need to set up a PAYE scheme. We can also discuss with you the possibility of making pension scheme contributions on behalf of your spouse, which can be very tax efficient.

This answer was last checked May 2017. This answer is for general guidance only. It provides an outline, and may not include points which are important in your case. You should not rely on this answer without taking individual advice based on the full facts of your case. The information given was correct at the time of release.