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The New Marriage Allowance – Have you claimed?


It is not often that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is happy to reduce your tax bill for you, but the possibility of doing so this year seems to have been overlooked by most married couples.

How it works

In a nutshell, the Marriage Allowance lets you transfer £1,100 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner providing they earn more than you.

This reduces their tax by up to £220 in the tax year, which runs from 6 April in one year to 5 April in the next year.

To benefit as a couple, you as the lower earner must have an income of £11,000 or less.

And if you were eligible for Marriage Allowance in the 2015/16 tax year, you can backdate your claim to 6 April 2015 and so reduce the tax paid by your husband, wife or civil partner by up to £432 in total (£212 for the tax year 2015/16 and £220 for the tax year 2016/17).

Who can apply

You can get Marriage Allowance if all the following apply:

  • you’re married or in a civil partnership
  • you don’t earn anything or your income is under £11,000
  • your partner’s income is between £11,001 and £43,000

You can still apply for Marriage Allowance if you or your partner:

  • are currently receiving a pension
  • live abroad – as long as you get a Personal Allowance

How to apply

You can apply for Marriage Allowance using this link.

If your application is successful, changes to your Personal Allowances will be backdated to the start of the tax year (6 April).

How your Personal Allowances change

HMRC will give your partner their extra allowance either:

  • by changing their tax code, usually to 1166M – this can take up to 2 months so you need to get your claim in before the end of the current tax year (5 April)
  • when they send in their Self Assessment tax return, if they’re self-employed

Your tax code will also change if you’re employed or get a pension. Your new code will reflect your new Personal Allowance and will end with ‘N’.

When Marriage Allowance stops

Your Personal Allowance will transfer automatically to your partner every year until one of you  cancels Marriage Allowance or your circumstances change, eg because of divorce or death.

How we can help you

If you want any further advice on Marriage Allowance, or want to discuss your tax affairs in general, please contact Patrick Cracroft-Brennan at Bambury & Co Chartered Accountants on 01869 222830. Alternatively, you can leave a comment in the box below.

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