The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
Marriage Allowance

Marriage Allowance Tax Break 2018/19

Registration for the Marriage Allowance first opened in April 2015. It is a tax perk which allows you to transfer a part of your Personal Allowance to your spouse or civil partner.

MARRIED ALLOWANCE UK: The policy lets some couples share a slice of their annual income tax allowance.

UK government claim more than 2 million entitled couples are still slow at registering for the Married Tax Allowance.

That is despite a potential tax break for some worth up to £662.

The system allows you to reduce the tax bill of your husband, wife, or civil partner. That is providing you were both born on or after the 6th of April 1935.

So, who qualifies for Marriage Allowance 2018/19 and how do you get it? Eligibility depends on some specific personal circumstances. This guide explains how married couples, and those in a civil partnership, can apply.

Note: Marriage Allowance rules and how to apply is available in Welsh language 'Lwfans Priodasol' (Cymraeg).

Marriage Allowance: How Does it Work?

Registering for the Marriage Allowance means you can transfer £1,190 of your Personal Allowance. You can share it with your spouse or civil partner providing they are earning more than you.

That would reduce their tax bill by an amount up to £238 for the current tax year (6th of April to 5th of April the next year).

But, this tax break is only for couples whereby the lower earner has an income not more than £11,850. In fact, that means the low earner would be a non-taxpayer.

Important Information iconIn some cases you can backdate your claim to include any or all tax years since the 5th of April 2015. That could mean a tax incentive up to £662 for some couples.

Who Can Claim Marriage Tax Allowance?

There are specific rules to meet the Marriage Allowance eligibility criteria. You will qualify if all these apply to your circumstances:

Marriage Allowance registration rules allow you to apply even if you or your partner:

Note: The benefits may be different if you or your partner were born before the 6th of April 1935. In this case couples may benefit more by applying for the Married Couple's Allowance. Work out your shared taxes using the government Marriage Allowance benefits calculator online.

Marriage Tax Allowance: How to Apply

Registration is simple because you can apply for the Marriage Tax Allowance online. Successful applicants will get changes to their Personal Allowances backdated by automatic process. The backdate goes back to the start of the relevant tax year (6th of April).

Note: Marriage Allowance rules allow a claim even if your partner has died since 5th of April 2015. The person managing the tax affairs should phone to claim if the partner was the lower earner.

Income Tax Helpline
Telephone: 0300 200 3300
Textphone: 0300 200 3319
Outside UK: +44 135 535 9022
Check the cost of calling UK numbers.

How HMRC Change Personal Allowances

HM Revenue and Customs have several ways of giving the extra allowance to your partner. They will either:

  1. Alter the tax code (note this method can take up to 2 months to complete).
  2. Make the changes when they receive the Self Assessment tax return (for self-employed workers).

Employed workers and those who get a pension will also see a change to their tax codes. The new code reflects your new Personal Allowance and it will end with the letter 'N'.

When Marriage Tax Allowance Stops

Personal Allowance transfers by automatic process each year. But, it will stop if one of you cancel the Marriage Allowance or your circumstances change. Typical reasons for cancellation would be for a divorce or because of a death.

Canceling Marriage Tax Allowance

Either one of the partners can cancel Marriage Allowance online. The GOV.UK website explains how to stop the allowance if your circumstances change. HMRC will need you to prove your identity using information they store about you.

The actual date that the tax allowance ends will depend on which partner cancels it. It will run to the end of the financial tax year (April 5th) if you stop transferring it to your partner.

In some cases your partner may ask to stop getting your allowance. HMRC would backdate the status change to the start of the tax year that you started transferring it.

Divorce or Dissolution of Civil Partnership

You can also cancel the allowance if you get divorced or your civil partnership ends. You have a choice if you are transferring the share to your partner:

  1. You can continue transferring it up to the end of the tax year.
  2. You can backdate the change to the beginning of that tax year.

It will run to the end of the financial tax year (April 5th) if you ask to stop transferring your partner's quota.

Changes to Income

If there are changes to your income you should contact HM Revenue and Customs. HMRC will inform you whether:

Death of a Partner

Several changes occur if a partner dies following the transference of Personal Allowance to them. In this case:

Marriage Allowance 2017 to 2018 Tax Year in the United Kingdom