How to apply for Marriage Allowance

Tax Planning

What is Marriage Allowance?

This allows you to transfer £1,260 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner. This reduces their tax by up to £252 in that tax year.

You cannot transfer more or less than £1,260, so you may end up paying more tax yourself, but as a couple you will still pay less overall.

Example:

Your income is £11,000 and your Personal Allowance is £12,570, so you do not pay tax.

Your partner’s income is £20,000 and their Personal Allowance is £12,570, so they pay tax on £7,430 (their ‘taxable income’). This means as a couple you are paying Income Tax on £7,430.

When you claim Marriage Allowance you transfer £1,260 of your Personal Allowance to your partner. Your Personal Allowance becomes £11,310 and your partner gets a ‘tax credit’ on £1,260 of their taxable income.

This means you still pay no tax, but your partner will only pay tax on £6,170. They there before benefit from a tax saving of £252 (20% of £1,260).

How do I apply for Marriage Allowance?

Notes:

  • The person who earns the least should make the claim.
  • If the person with the highest income earns more than £50,270 per year, you are not eligible for Marriage Allowance.
  • You are able to backdate the allowance to apply from the 2017/2018 tax year onwards and if successful, a cheque will be sent to your partner for the tax rebate
  • Once your application is successful, the changes to your Personal Allowances will be backdated to the start of the tax year (6th April).
  • HMRC will give your partner the allowance you transferred to them either; by changing their tax code (this can take up to 2 months), or when they send their self-assessment tax return.
  • Your new tax codes will end with; M if you are receiving the allowance, and N if you are transferring the allowance.
  1. First, visit the below gov.uk webpage and answer the eligibility questions honestly and truthfully:

Marriage Allowance Eligibility Check

An example of the eligibility questions is shown below – simply select your answer and then click ‘Continue’.

Are you married

Answer all the eligibility questions – and assuming you pass the eligibility test then continue with this guide to apply for Marriage Allowance.

Note: If one of you or your spouse were born before 6th April 1935, you can apply for Married Couple’s Allowance, which is a more generous scheme.

2. To proceed, you will be required to sign in using Government Gateway. This is the login details for the gov.uk website, and involves you entering your Government Gateway user ID and your password.

If you do not yet have a Government Gateway user ID, you can select ‘Create sign in details’ as highlighted in red and set up your account.

Sign in Government Gateway

3. Once logged in, select ‘Start now’ as indicated in red.

Apply for Marriage Allowance

4. At this stage, you have the option to use the Marriage Allowance calculator to see how much tax you will save. Either enter the details and click ‘Calculate’, or you can skip this step by clicking ‘skip it’ or ‘Apply for Marriage Allowance’.

Marriage allowance calculator

5. You may be asked to answer the eligibility questions again, and following that you will need to enter the details of your partner – the higher earner. Enter their first name, last name, gender and national insurance number. Click ‘Continue’ once you are ready.

Your partner's details

6. Follow the steps as above – the details you will need are:

  • Date of marriage
  • The tax years you would like to apply for – you can backdate the allowance to the 2017/18 tax year onwards
  • Confirmation email
  • Check your details and confirm application

You should hear from HMRC regarding your application within 2 months of submitting the form.

Author Info

Graham Bond
Graham Bond
Financial Adviser - Business Owner

With 35+ years in financial services, Graham specialises in retirement planning, investment strategies, and tax planning. His expertise ensures clients secure their financial futures through tailored advice and strategic planning.

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