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Britain may grant tax breaks for Muslim second wives

UPI News Service, 12/26/2004 

British tax officials are considering breaks for Muslims who are allowed as many as four wives under religious rules to make taxes more "family friendly."

Existing laws allow deductions for only one wife for inheritance tax purposes but Muslim activists are asking Inland Revenue to relax the rules, the Times of London reports.

"Wives and immediate children should be exempt from inheritance tax," Ahmad Thomson, of the Association of Muslim Lawyers, told the Times. "If the government is family friendly, they should change a tax which is unfairly hitting minority religious values."

British law currently bans marrying more than one spouse at a time and such action could result in bigamy charges. Muslim women with second-, third- and fourth-wife status are considered mistresses under the law and have no legal or tax rights.

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Copyright 2004 by United Press International

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