Marriage Allowance Explained

Marriage Allowance

The marriage allowance lets you transfer £1,150 of your personal allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner if they earn more money than you. This will reduce the tax that they pay by up to £230 each year.

Who is eligible?

In order to be considered for the allowance, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Be married or in a civil partnership for whole or part of the tax year
  • Be married or in a civil partnership in the tax year election is made
  • Both parties are basic rate tax payers (both must be taxpayers). This means you earn less than £45,000 (£43,000 for 2016/17)
  • Both parties are born post 6 April 1935
  • Ensure that the party transferring their personal allowance has an income under £11,500 (£11,000 for 2016/17)
  • Ensure that the election is made within four years from the end of the tax year relevant

How it works

The spouse that earns less than £11,500 can transfer their unused personal allowance to their partner – up to a maximum of £1,150. This means their spouse’s tax free allowance can then be increased. If the full amount (£1,150) is transferred, the spouse will receive a tax-free allowance of £12,650, saving the couple £230.

If you are eligible for the marriage allowance in the 2017/18 tax year, you can backdate your claim so that you get the previous years’ AND this year’s allowance, saving £662.

Actions Required

  1. Make a claim on the tax return (within the allowances section), and
  2. Complete the online application and wait for a confirmation email –

If you have any questions or would like to find out more information, contact Lee Manning at