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Could you benefit from Marriage Allowance?

If you are an employee, and are married or in a civil partnership, you may be able to benefit from a government tax break known as the marriage allowance.
This is a tax relief that lets you transfer £1,260 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner. It can save you up to £252 as a couple over the tax year yet, unbelievably, the majority of eligible couples are still not claiming it.

Work out how much you could save with HMRC’s marriage allowance calculator

We have put together a quick guide of what it is and who can claim it. All figures quoted are calculated using allowances and thresholds for the 2023 /24 tax year.

What is it?

Marriage Allowance lets couples transfer a proportion of their personal tax allowance between them. The lower earner must earn less than the £12,570 personal tax threshold, so a non-taxpayer. They can then transfer their unused personal allowance to their partner.

Eligibility criteria

You can apply for marriage allowance if all of the following apply:

  • You are married or in a civil partnership (living together does not qualify)
  •  Both of you were born on or after 6th April 1935
  • The lower earner must be earning less than £12,570, so therefore not paying any tax
  • The other party needs to be a basic rate taxpayer, which usually means their income is between £12,571 and £50,270 (couples who are in the higher or additional rate tax band are not eligible)

You can still apply if either you or your partner lives abroad or is currently receiving a pension.

How to apply

The person who will be transferring their allowance, ie. the lower earner should apply for the allowance. You can do this online with HMRC. You will need an acceptable means of ID as well as you and your partner’s National Insurance numbers.

Backdate your claim

If you have only just found out about marriage allowance, and you can backdate your claim for up to 4 years, providing you meet the eligibility criteria. (Relevant tax thresholds for specific tax years apply). Hey presto – nice tax rebate!

What to do if your circumstances change

If your personal circumstances change, for example if you get divorced, you get your civil partnership dissolved or your partner dies, you can cancel your marriage allowance here.
If you or your partner’s income changes, contact HMRC to see if you are still eligible for marriage allowance and that it is still beneficial to you as a couple.

Contact us if you or your spouse or civil partner is employed by Liquid Friday, and you think you might be eligible for marriage allowance.  

This article was originally published on 2nd October 2019 and updated on 26th October 2023.