Double Household Expenses for Unmarried Couples

Normally it is assumed that only married couples can claim expenses for a double household. Can this also be true for unmarried couples? The Fiscal Court Münster passed a judgment on December 20, 2011 (re 1 K 4150/08 E) to decide exactly that question.

Jill had a job about 90 km away from her boyfriend Jack. They lived together during weekends and during vacation at Jack’s place. Later that year they got married. The tax office denied the expenses for travel costs between her home with Jack and her apartment at work, because she did not participate in Jack’s costs for the apartment. She simply did not have an own household (§9 I 3 no. 5 EStG).

The court disagreed with the office’s decision. The center of her vital interests where at Jack’s place, because she had her household means there. Sharing the costs for living, like rent or food is not by itself relevant. Also, the location of her address registration is not alone decisive. All details of her way of living and especially the fact that she married later in the year clearly showed she changed her center of vital interests.



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