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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Closing the gap between tax law and family law on marital breakup Jamal, Soraya M.

Abstract

Many tax consequences arise subsequent to the breakdown of marriage. The tax implications arising upon marital dissolution is a topic which elicits attention from both the realms of taxation and family law. However, upon considering the policy objectives underlying tax law and family law, it can be observed that a discord between these two areas of laws is clearly evident, with the family law system being equipped to better take into account the many social realities surrounding divorce as opposed to the tax system. Accordingly, the objective of this thesis is to examine the taxation treatment accorded to marital dissolution in an attempt to identify weaknesses in the tax legislation and to provide appropriate recommendations. In this pursuit, the tax provisions related to spousal support payments, child support payments and the division of matrimonial property are examined. Policy objectives and assumptions underlying the tax provisions dealing with divorce are also evaluated in reaching the conclusion that the tax legislation governing marital dissolution does not adequately take into consideration many of the social realities surrounding the breakdown of marriage. While amending the tax legislation in an attempt to address this problem, it is of significance to remember that both the tax law system and family law system will be required to work hand in hand to find viable solutions.

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