The Taxation Act defines a married woman as a woman married by law or by custom and does not include a wife separated from her husband or living apart from her husband or not wholly maintained by her husband.
A married woman can earn income from various sources and such income could either be earned income or unearned income. Earned income is income that is the direct result of work done by the recipient, for instance a salary or share of profits. Unearned income is income that is not the direct result of work done by the recipient, for example interest or dividends from an investment.
Section 73 of the Taxation Act defines earned income of a married woman as income from any business carried on by the wife in her own right and where the husband is neither an employee nor a partner.
Earned income of a married woman also includes emoluments received by, or accrued to, the wife for services rendered or to be rendered by the wife. However, the emoluments should not be from her husband or a partnership in which her husband is a partner.
The emoluments should also not be from a company in which her husband is a director controlling directly or indirectly more than 5% ownership. Furthermore, the emoluments should also not be from a company in which the wife is a director controlling directly or indirectly more than 5% of ownership in which her husband is an employee or is a director.
A husband and a wife are taxpayers in their own right and each should submit a tax return of their income or they can submit a joint tax return. A married woman’s tax return should show tax liability on her earned income while the husband’s return should show tax liability on his income plus his wife’s unearned income.
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