HM Insights

Do I qualify for the Marriage Allowance and how much tax can it save me?

Following a significant year of change, many couples, whether married or in civil partnership, might find they are financially in quite a different position from that which they were in in this time last year. 

As a result it makes sense to ensure that you have made the most of all available tax allowances and one that is often forgotten about is the Marriage Allowance.

The allowance offers individuals the chance to transfer part of their personal allowance to their husband, wife or civil partner, which could reduce their tax bill by £250 a year. For some couples, this could mean a backdated payment of up to four years of claims which could be as much as £1188.

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What is marriage tax allowance?

The marriage tax allowance allows you to transfer £1250 of your personal allowance (the amount you can earn tax-free each tax year) to your spouse or civil partner if they earn more than you.

If your claim is successful, it will lower the higher earner's tax bill for the tax year, but you may also be able to backdate your claim.

Who qualifies for the marriage tax allowance?

  • You need to be married or in a civil partnership and living with your partner, but just living together/cohabiting doesn't count.
  • One of you needs to be a non-taxpayer, which usually means you'll earn less than the £12,500 personal allowance in a tax year between say 6 April 2020 and 5 April 2021;
  • The other partner needs to be a basic rate taxpayer, so they do not pay tax at a rate higher than 21% (higher or additional-rate taxpayers aren't eligible for this allowance);
  • You both must have been born on or after 6 April 1935.

Can I backdate my claim?

You can backdate your claim for any tax year to 5 April 2016 that you were eligible for Marriage Allowance.

Why bother?

Your partner’s tax bill will be reduced depending on the Personal Allowance rate for each year you claim for.  Where that tax year is already complete, that will result in a refund from HMRC for the tax overpaid.

Get in touch – we're here to help

If you need help making a claim, we can help. Please get in touch with a member of our team.

We have solicitors and offices across the country, with our people orking from home, ready to help in person or over the phone or on a zoom call. 

Useful links

PERSONAL TAX LAWYERS