For richer, for poorer – are you taking advantage of Marriage Allowance? Introduced in April 2015, Marriage Allowance means that if you are married, or in a civil partnership, you can transfer £1250 of your Personal Allowance to your partner. If the lower earner, makes less than £12,500 (the current Personal Allowance) their partner’s tax can be reduced by up to £250 per year.
Please be aware that the lower earner may end up paying more tax when you apply for Marriage Allowance. However, you will save money as a couple overall.
To qualify for Marriage Allowance, you must be married or in a civil partnership. You must earn under the Personal Allowance. Finally, your partner must pay starter, basic or intermediate rate tax in Scotland (currently an income between £12,501 and £43,430).
Where to Apply
Applying is straightforward. The person who is the lowest earner should be the one to make the claim and you can do this online at gov.uk, or call the helpline on 0300 200 3300. Once you have made a claim, there is no need to reapply. It will be automatically renewed each year.
The great news is that this can be backdated. You can claim for every tax year that you have been eligible for Marriage Allowance, since 5 April 2016. Because Marriage Allowance renews automatically, you should update HRMC of any changes to your circumstances like if your marriage ends, or your income changes. You can still claim the allowance if your partner has died, if you’re currently living abroad or if you are receiving a pension. If you are unsure of your eligibility or circumstances, you should contact the helpline.
Finally, Marriage Allowance is not the same as Married Couple’s Allowance. This is significantly higher but only applies if one partner was born before 6 April 1935. You can read more about Married Couple’s Allowance on the gov.uk website.