Are you claiming the marriage allowance

The marriage allowance can be claimed by married couples and those in a civil partnership and where a spouse or civil partner does not pay tax or does not pay tax above the basic rate threshold for Income Tax (i.e., one of the couples must currently earn less than the £12,570 personal allowance for 2024-25).

The allowance works by permitting the lower earning partner to transfer up to £1,260 of their personal tax-free allowance to their spouse or civil partner. The marriage allowance can only be used when the recipient of the transfer (the higher earning partner) does not pay more than the basic 20% rate of income tax. This would usually mean that their income is between £12,571 and £50,270 during 2024-25. For those living in Scotland this would usually mean income between £12,571 and £43,662.

Using the allowance the lower earning partner can transfer up to £1,260 of their unused personal tax-free allowance to a spouse or civil partner. This could result in a saving of up to £252 for the recipient (20% of £1,260), or £21 a month for the current tax year.

If you meet the eligibility requirements and have not yet claimed the allowance you can backdate your claim as far back as 6 April 2020. This could result in a total tax break of up to £1,260 if you can claim for 2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23, 2023-24 as well as the current 2024-25 tax year.

HMRC’s online Marriage Allowance calculator can be used by couples to find out if they are eligible for the relief. An application can then be made online at GOV.UK.



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HMRC has published a press release to remind qualifying couples to claim the Marriage Allowance. The Marriage Allowance allows lower earning couples to share part of their personal tax-free allowance.


The Marriage Allowance is available to married couples and those in a civil partnership where one partner doesn’t pay more than the basic 20% rate of Income Tax and the other party does not fully utilise their tax-free Personal Tax Allowance. The lower earning partner can currently transfer up to £1,190 of their personal tax-free allowance to a spouse or civil partner.


Whilst more than 3.5 million couples have already applied for the allowance, it is estimated that there are still a further 700,000 married and civil partnered couples, who are eligible for the allowance, but have not applied. If you are eligible and have not yet claimed the allowance you can backdate your claim as far back as 6 April 2015. This could result in a total tax refund of some £900. Qualifying couples have up to four years to claim backdated annual allowances.   


Planning note


An application for the marriage allowance can be made online or by telephone. The application must be made by the non-taxpayer who is transferring their allowance. And to recap, to benefit as a couple, the non-taxpayer needs to earn less than their partner and have an income of £11,850 or less in 2018-19.


 



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