Marriage Allowance: how to get a £252 tax break

Updated on 25 April 2024 | 0 Comments

Around two million eligible couples are missing out on the Marriage Allowance. Here's all you need to know

Many couples are missing out on a tax break that could provide a nice little boost to their finances. 

The Marriage Allowance is available to certain couples who are married or in a civil partnership.

It's estimated that as many as two million eligible couples are missing out on the break, which is worth £252 annually.

However, as the claim can be backdated by up to four years, some couples could be due up to £1,260.

Here's everything you need to know about the Marriage Allowance and how to claim it.

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How does the Marriage Allowance work?

The Marriage Allowance is a tax break for married couples or those in a civil partnership and was introduced by the Government in April 2015.

It allows a lower earner to share up to 10% of their tax-free Personal Allowance with a partner who pays the Basic Rate of Income tax in order to lower their joint overall tax bill.

In a nutshell, it works like this: someone who earns less than the Personal Allowance of £12,570 can transfer a maximum of £1,260 to their partner who earns less than £50,270.

This amounts to an annual saving of up to £252 (20% of the amount transferred).

As we mentioned earlier, you can also apply for this to be backdated by up to four years. You can learn more about how it works on this Government page.

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Who is eligible?

As we’ve already mentioned you’ll need to be married or in a civil partnership to apply for the Marriage Allowance.

Unfortunately, living together even if you have children doesn’t make you eligible for the scheme.

Both partners need to be born on or after 6 April 1935 (if one or both of you were born before this date you can claim the Married Couple’s Allowance).

One partner needs to be a non-taxpayer, which means they earn under the Personal Allowance threshold. For 2024/25 that means earning less than £12,570.

The other partner has to be a Basic Rate taxpayer.

For the current tax year that means earning less than £50,270.

If you are looking to claim a number of years it's important to remember that both the Personal Allowance and the threshold for being a Basic Rate taxpayer might be slightly lower (depending on how far back you're going) so be sure to factor this into your eligibility calculations.

You can find previous years' tax allowances and rates here.

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How to apply

You can apply for the Marriage Allowance on the HMRC website or by phone on 0300 200 3300.

You’ll need both of your National Insurance numbers plus ID for the non-taxpayer. It should be the non-taxpayer that makes the application.

HMRC will notify you if you are eligible for the allowance and whether you are also eligible for the backdated allowance.

Most of the time the Marriage Allowance will be paid adjusting the recipient partner’s tax code. The transferring partner will also get a new adjusted tax code for the year.

The Marriage Allowance will continue to be paid until you cancel it or you inform HMRC that your circumstances have changed.

List of tax codes: check you're on the right UK tax code for 2024/25

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