If one party to a marriage or civil partnership has earnings below the personal tax allowance (£11,500 for 2017-18) and their spouse does not pay tax at the higher 40% rate, then they should be claiming the Marriage Allowance.
For 2017-18 this tax break is worth £230 in cash terms.
The allowance was introduced from 6 April 2015 so if you have not claimed in previous tax years you can back-date your claim to include the tax years 2015-16 and 2016-17. Together with the current tax year this should produce a combined tax refund of £662.
You will be eligible to make a claim if all the following conditions apply:
- You are married or in a civil partnership
- You currently have no earnings or your income is £11,500 or less
- Your partner’s current income is between £11,501 and £45,000 (or £43,000 if you’re in Scotland)
It won’t affect your application for Marriage Allowance if you or your partner:
- are currently receiving a pension
- live abroad – if you get a Personal Allowance.
Your Personal Allowance will transfer automatically to your partner every year until one of you cancels the Marriage Allowance or your circumstances change, for example because of divorce or death.
According to HMRC, the take-up for this allowance has been slow to gain momentum. Applying is easy enough if you have internet access, the URL is https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/marriage-allowance-application/eligibility-check?_ga=2.13601205.366078670.1508664989-262204862.1487688115
Make sure you have the following information to hand:
You will need you and your partner’s National Insurance numbers. You will also need a way to prove your identity. This can be one of the following:
- the last 4 digits of the account that your child benefit, tax credits or pension is paid into
- the last 4 digits of an account that pays you interest
- details from your P60
- details from any of your 3 most recent payslips
- your passport number and expiry date
You’ll get an email confirming your application has been received.