HMRC is reminding married couples and people in civil partnerships to sign up for Marriage Allowance to help reduce their tax bill.

If you’re eligible, you could cut your tax by up to £252 a year.

What is Marriage Allowance?

It allows married couples or people in civil partnerships to share their personal tax allowances if one partner earns below the Personal Allowance threshold of £12,570, and the other is a basic rate taxpayer.

Qualifying couples can transfer 10% of their tax-free allowance to their partner, which is £1,260 in the 2022-2023 tax year.

How to apply

It’s free to apply for Marriage Allowance and you can do it at any time.

You can claim directly with HMRC through its online portal. Plus, you can backdate your claims for up to four previous tax years you were eligible for – which could mean a payment of up to £1,242.

To see if you’re entitled to the tax relief and to find out how to apply, search ‘marriage allowance’ on GOV.UK.

Do you qualify for Marriage Allowance?

More than two million couples currently benefit from Marriage Allowance. But HMRC said there could be thousands more who are entitled to claim.

If you and your partner didn’t qualify for the tax relief when you first got married, a change in your circumstances could mean you’ve become eligible since then. These include:

  • One partner retiring and the other remaining in work
  • A change in employment
  • A reduction in working hours that means earnings fall below the Personal Allowance
  • Maternity, paternity, or shared parental leave
  • Unpaid leave or a career break
  • One partner studying or in education and not earning above their Personal Allowance

What else should you know?

If your spouse or civil partner has died since 5 April 2018, you – as the surviving person – can still claim by contacting the Income Tax helpline.

Marriage Allowance claims are automatically renewed every year. But you should tell HMRC if your circumstances change.

If you can’t apply online, you can apply to HMRC in writing or via your self-assessment tax return.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary, said: “We want to ensure people are receiving vital financial support at a time when they need it most. Married couples or those in a civil partnership could potentially receive tax relief worth up to £1,242, meaning extra cash in their pockets.”

Our thoughts

There aren’t many tax breaks currently available for married couples, but with the cost of living crisis, every penny can count. So, if you qualify for Marriage Allowance, the extra money could be a welcome boost to your bank balance.

It’s simple to claim directly with HMRC and you don’t need to use an adviser. There’s no downside to claiming this tax relief.

For professional tax advice, call our team on 07813 434195 or email:

Steph Churchill

Stephanie Churchill

Managing director & co-owner of Churchill Taxation