The marriage allowance is a government scheme designed to give married couples income tax relief. Essentially, you’re able to transfer some of your tax-free allowance to your spouse if you make less than the current personal allowance. In doing this, they can reduce their tax bill by up to £220 over the year.
What conditions do I need to meet to be eligible for marriage allowance?
This is not to be confused with the married couple’s allowance (MCA). This is for couples where at least one person was born before April 6th, 1935. You could save between £322 and £835.50 per year. Find out more on the government website.
- You need to be married or in a civil partnership.
- One partner must earn under £11,000.
- The other must earn between £11,001 and £43,000 (anyone who pays the basic 20% tax rate).
- You both need to have been born after April 1935.
This can be a great option for people on maternity leave, stay-at-home parents, retired, self-employed and unemployed people.
How does marriage tax allowance work?
The non-taxpaying partner can “give” the taxpaying partner £1,100 of their allowance. By adding to their tax-free alliance, they pay up to £220 less. The best way to apply for the marriage allowance is online on the HMRC site, where you simply enter your details (or you can also apply by phone if you prefer). It will need to be the non-taxpayer that completes the application, as they are the one transferring their allowance over. Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a letter from HMRC detailing whether or not you’re eligible.
Do you pay less tax if you are married?
Technically, no. If you don’t take advantage of the marriage allowance, you will not get the tax benefit. Also, it only lowers your tax if one partner earns less than £11,000 per year.
Does your tax code change when married?
For the spouse or spouses in employment, you’ll be given an adjusted tax code (usually 1210M) to automatically change what you’re paying. This can take up to two months to take effect. You only need to apply once rather than every tax year, but ensure you get in touch with HMRC if your situation changes. This includes divorce, death, or if the non-taxpaying partner starts to earn over the personal allowance threshold.
HMRC will also work out whether you’re due backdated money, so be sure to enter your details correctly.
How to recover emotionally after losing your job
Losing your job can be put strain on both your finances and emotions. Read on for our top tips on how to spring back should you be in this unfortunate situation.
Diversify earnings: A guide on multiple income streams
We all want to make a little extra money, particularly during difficult economic periods. Our next article will help you discover ways of gaining additional income.