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Marriage tax allowance explained

Tamires Criscio
Tamires Criscio
  | Edited by Tom Church
Updated 26th April 2021

Are you married or in a civil union? You and your partner may be entitled to receive Marriage Tax Allowance. Latest Deals is here to explain what Marriage Tax Allowance is and how you can apply for it.

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What is Marriage Tax Allowance?

Marriage Tax Allowance allows you to transfer part of your Personal Allowance to your spouse or civil partner. 

Your Personal Allowance is the amount of money you can earn and not pay any tax on it. The current standard tax-free Personal Allowance is £12,570. So, if you earnt £20,000 a year, you’d only pay tax on £7,430. 

When did the marriage tax allowance start?

Marriage Tax Allowance started on the 6th of April 2015. 

How much is Marriage Tax Allowance?

At the moment, during the year of 6th of April 2021 to the 5th of April 2022, the Marriage Tax Allowance is £1,260.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are going to transfer part of your personal allowance, this is the only amount allowed. You can not transfer more or less than £1,260.

How does Marriage Tax Allowance work?

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By giving £1,260 as an extra personal allowance, your spouse or civil partner will have their tax reduced by up to £252. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: The maximum tax relief with this allowance is £252, and this happens only if one part of the couple is paying taxes. If both parties are paying taxes the tax relief will be lower. You and your partner will be still paying less tax as a couple with this allowance than if you were both paying taxes separately. 

Example One on how Marriage Tax Allowance works 

  • If you receive £11,500 per year, you don’t pay tax. 
  • If your partner’s income is £20,000. They pay tax on £7,430 (total taxable income after personal allowance deduction.)
  • As a couple, you are paying tax on £7,430. 
  • If you claim Marriage Tax Allowance, you will be able to transfer £1,260 from your personal allowance. 
  • Then, your personal allowance will become £11,310.
  • Your partner’s personal allowance will become £13,830. 
  • Now you will need to pay tax on £190 and your partner will need to pay tax on £6,170. 
  • As a couple, you are paying tax on £6,360 instead of £7,430. Total savings in tax: £214.

Example Two on how Marriage Tax Allowance works 

  • If you receive £8,000 per year, you don’t pay income tax. 
  • If your partner’s income is £30,000. They pay tax on £17,430 (total taxable income after personal allowance deduction.)
  • As a couple, you are paying tax on £17,430. 
  • If you claim Marriage Tax Allowance, you will be able to transfer £1,260 from your personal allowance. 
  • Then, your personal allowance will become £11,310.
  • Your partner’s personal allowance will become £13,830. 
  • Now you still don’t need to pay tax and your partner will need to pay tax on £16,170. 
  • As a couple, you are paying tax on £16,170 instead of £17,430. Total savings in tax: £252.

Example Three on how Marriage Tax Allowance works 

  • If you receive £5,000 per year, you don’t pay income tax. 
  • If your partner’s income is £35,000. They pay tax on £22,430 (total taxable income after personal allowance deduction.)
  • As a couple, you are paying tax on £22,430. 
  • If you claim Marriage Tax Allowance, you will be able to transfer £1,260 from your personal allowance. 
  • Then, your personal allowance will become £11,310. 
  • Your partner’s personal allowance will become £13,830. 
  • Now you still don’t need to pay tax and your partner will need to pay tax on £21,170. 
  • As a couple, you are paying tax on £21,170 instead of £22,430. Total savings in tax: £252.

Who can apply for Marriage Tax Allowance? How do I qualify for Marriage Tax Allowance? 

You can apply for Marriage Tax Allowance if you are married or are in a civil partnership.

This allowance transfer is only possible if you or your partner receive less than £12,570, which it’s the maximum income free of taxes and if you or your partner is a basic rate payer (paying 20%). Each of you needs to fit in one of the cases. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can still apply for Marriage Tax Allowance if you are receiving a pension instead and if you live abroad. 

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How can I apply for Marriage Tax Allowance? 

To apply for Marriage Tax Allowance, you can use this link. 

When you send your application, HMRC will ask many questions to see if you and your partner are eligible to receive this. 

If you get approved, you will receive this automatically backdated to the start of the tax year you are applying for. 

After applying for Marriage Tax Allowance, you will receive an email confirming that HMRC has received your application successfully. Then, you need to wait for at least two full weeks. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can also apply for Marriage Tax Allowance by phone.

How to claim Marriage Tax Allowance on Tax Return

When you are doing your Self-Assessment Tax Return, you will be able to ask for Marriage Tax Allowance in the same application. 

Can I apply for Marriage Tax Allowance for previous years? 

You can still apply for Marriage Tax Allowance for previous years since the 5th of April 2017. 

You will need to be able to provide all the documentation required to prove your claim. 

How to claim back Marriage Tax Allowance

To claim back Marriage Tax Allowance, you need to backdate your application. You have up to the year 2017/2018 to do that. 

How do I get a form to apply for Marriage Tax Allowance?

At the moment, there isn’t a form that you can print out to apply for Marriage Tax Allowance, the best way to apply is by using this link. 

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How long do I need to wait to receive Marriage Tax Allowance?

HMRC takes at least two weeks to process any application. If your application is approved, it will take around two days to get a new tax code.

To start receiving Marriage Tax Allowance, meaning getting the tax relief, will depend on when your employee or pension provider makes their payments. 

How Marriage Tax Allowance is paid?

If you apply at the start of the tax year, you will pay less tax during that year, and won’t receive anything as it’s a tax relief more than a payment. 

If you apply at the end of the tax year, you will receive a check with the amount of tax you have paid extra during that tax year. The same applies if you apply for previous years. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you pay your taxes via Self-Assessment Tax Return, you are able to apply for Marriage Tax Allowance in the same application. 

What is Marriage Tax Allowance tax rebate?

If you have claimed for Marriage Tax Allowance after the end of the tax year and you are approved, you will have paid too much tax, then you will receive a check with the amount you have overpaid. 

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How can I stop Marriage Tax Allowance? 

Marriage Tax Allowance will be renewed every year if your and your partner’s income don’t change. 

If they change, you and your partner will probably lose this allowance and HMRC will make the adjustment necessary via the P800 Tax Calculation.

If you and your partner separate, you can cancel your Marriage Tax Allowance using this link. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you divorce or if your partner dies, Marriage Tax Allowance is cancelled automatically, meaning, you don’t need to cancel it. But the allowance will remain active until the end of the tax year.

What happens after I cancel Marriage Tax Allowance? 

After you cancel your Marriage Tax Allowance, your allowance will run until the end of that tax year. 

How can I contact Marriage Tax Allowance enquiries?

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If you want to contact Marriage Tax Allowance enquiries, you can use this phone number 0300 200 3300, if you are in the UK. 

Or you can use this phone number +44 135 535 9022 if you are outside the UK. 

Both lines work from Monday to Friday, 8 am to 8 pm, and on Saturdays, 8 am to 4 pm. Learn more about this here. 

FAQ

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