Marriage Tax Allowance

You may be eligible for a tax break of £1,188 if married or in a civil partnership. This is known as Marriage Tax Allowance.
Marriage tax allowance enables you to transfer a certain amount of your tax-free personal allowance to a spouse/civil partner. You can transfer £1,250 of this personal allowance to your partner, provided that they earn the most out of the two of you.
If you're successful in making the claim, your partner's tax bill will be lowered for the tax year you've directed the claim at.

As seen in:

How Much Money Can I Get From the Marriage Tax Allowance?

For the tax year we are currently in – 2020/2021 – marriage tax allowance can be worth up to £250. However, in addition to this current tax year, couples can also backdate their claims to previous years.

You can backdate your marriage tax allowance claims by up to 4 years, these 4 years currently being the following:

  • 2019/2020.
  • 2018/2019.
  • 2017/2018.
  • 2016/2017.

If you backdate your claims to include these four years, as well as claiming for the current tax year we’re in, you could get up to £1,188 in marriage tax allowance.

You can get the following Marriage Tax Allowance for each year:
2020/2021 – £250
2019/2020 – £250
2018/2019 – £238
2017/2018 – £230
2016/2017 – £220

How Am I Given the Marriage Tax Allowance?

For backdated marriage tax allowance claims, the money will be sent to you via cheque. When making a claim for the current year, this allowance will typically be received in the form of adjusting the highest-earning partner’s tax code. In addition to this, those who have transferred this allowance over to their partner will also have their tax code adjusted accordingly.

Am I Eligible for Marriage Tax Allowance?

As the name suggests, marriage tax allowance is intended for those who are either married or in a civil partnership. In addition to this, a certain set of circumstances will also need to apply in order to be eligible for this type of tax break, these including the following:

  • Both people in the partnership will had to have been born either on the 6th April 1935 or after this date.
  • One of you will have to be a non-taxpayer. This means those earning under the 2020/2021 personal allowance of £12,500.
  • The highest earner out of the two of you will also have to fit within a certain tax bracket – this being the 20% rate – meaning those who pay higher levels of tax aren’t eligible for this. This means the highest earner will typically have to earn under £50,000 in order to be eligible.

It’s worth noting that the marriage tax allowance is only applicable to partners who are legally wed to each other, meaning unmarried couples who live together will not be eligible for this.

How Can I Apply for Marriage Tax Allowance?

You apply for marriage allowance tax via HMRC. Their application for marriage allowance tax will only take a few minutes. It’s worth noting that the non-taxpayer will have to fill in this application in order to transfer this amount of their personal allowance over to their higher-earning partner. When filling in your application with HMRC, you’ll need to provide a few details including:

  • The non-taxpayer’s national insurance number.
  • The highest-earning partner’s national insurance number.
  • Valid ID from the non-taxpayer.

If accepted, this marriage tax allowance will be transferred to the partner stated on the application until actively cancelled.

Can I Transfer Less Than £1,250 of My Personal Allowance?

If you have less than £1,250 of unused personal allowance to spare, you may still be able to transfer this to your higher-earning partner. However, this can become slightly more complicated than transferring the typical £1,250. This amount has been established as any less could compromise any advantage the marriage tax allowance could provide.

For example, if less than £1,250 is transferred to a higher-earning partner, the non-taxpayer runs a risk of exceeding their shortened personal allowance and if gone over, they could end up paying tax on the amount they have gone over.

Therefore, while you can transfer less than the standard amount of personal allowance for marriage tax allowance, it’s important to make sure it will still provide an advantage to you.

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