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A Declaration of Trust (also called a Deed of Trust) is a document that shows how much each of the joint owners of a property actually own.
The most common situation for using one is if you’re in a couple (married or civil partnership) and you rent out a property that you own together.
Usually, HMRC will consider a couple to own equal amounts, 50–50. Both will need to file a Self Assessment and pay tax on their share.
However, if you sign a Deed of Trust, you can use it to tell HMRC that what you earned from renting out your jointly owned property should not be split equally.
It can help you (as a couple) pay less tax if one of you earns significantly more than the other.
Declarations of Trust aren’t just for couples putting money into a property equally.
You can use them if you buy property with friends or associates as well, and for other splits (for example, 70% – 20% – 10%).