Can you claim the Marriage Allowance?

Can you claim the marriage allowance?

There are few tax breaks for UK taxpayers and many of those that are available are frozen and therefore vulnerable to the negative effects of inflation. Which is why it is surprising that many basic rate taxpayers are missing out on a tax break called the Marriage Allowance.

Who can claim the marriage allowance?

It goes without saying that the Marriage Allowance can only be claimed by married couples and by couples in a civil partnership.  Partners living together who are not formally married or in a civil partnership are not eligible to claim the marriage allowance.

Who can claim the marriage allowance?

Essentially, the marriage allowance entitles you to transfer up to £1,260 of your Personal Allowance that is not used to set off against your own income. If your income is below £12,570 – the current value of the income tax Personal Allowance – and your spouse’s income sits between £12,571 and £50,270, you can make a claim.

BUT BE CAREFUL! If the income of the lower paid partner is just below £12,570 and the income of the higher paid partner is marginally above £12,570 the couple may end up paying more tax overall. We always recommend that you check the numbers before making a claim to check to see if there is an overall benefit to be had in making a claim for marriage allowance.

And if you are taxed in Scotland, your partner must pay the starter, basic or intermediate rate of income tax, which usually means their income is between £12,571 and £43,662.

Backdating your claim for the marriage allowance

The good news is if you are claiming for the first time you could backdate your claim four years if you qualified for the relief in those earlier years.  Potentially, this means you may qualify for a rebate of up to £1,260 in total.

How to apply for marriage allowance

There are three ways to make a claim:

  1. You can apply online at;
  2. Apply by post by completing an application form. You can download the form at; or
  3. If you are registered for Self-Assessment, you can make a claim on your tax return.

What happens if your circumstances change?

You must cancel your Marriage Allowance claim if any of the following apply:

  • your relationship ends – because you have divorced, or ended (‘dissolved’) your civil partnership or are legally separated;
  • your income changes and you are no longer eligible; or
  • you no longer want to claim.

Pass on the news

If you know anyone who you think may be able to make this claim, by all means forward them this post.  If you need help with self assessment tax for the current or a previous tax year, get in touch with us on 020 7870 9050.

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