Marriage Allowance

Marriage allowance is a government scheme which provides tax relief to married couples.

Marriage allowance allows you to transfer 10% of your personal allowance, £1,250 in the current 2019/20 tax year to your spouse or civil partner, which could save you up to £250 in tax.

Marriage allowance can be backdated up to 4 years.

Marriage allowance in previous tax years:

Tax year Personal Allowance Amount that can be transferred Amount saved
2018/19 £11,850 £1,185 £238
2017/18 £11,500 £1,150 £230
2016/17 £11,000 £1,100 £220
2015/16 £10,600 £1,060 £212

Once you have successfully applied for marriage allowance, the personal allowance of the individual with the lowest income will decrease by the amount transferred whilst the personal allowance of the individual with the highest income will increase by the amount transferred.

To be eligible for marriage allowance:

  • You must be married or in a civil partnership.
  • The lower-earning partner must have an income below the personal allowance, which is £12,500 for the 2019/20 tax year.
  • The higher-earning partner must pay tax at the basic rate, for the 2019/20 tax year they must have an income between £12,500 and £50,000.
  • Be born on or after the 6th April 1935.

How to apply for marriage allowance:

The claim to transfer the marriage allowance should be made by the individual with the lowest income.

You can apply for marriage allowance by filling in HMRC’s online form, which can be found on the link below, to do so you will need both yours’ and your partner’s National Insurance number as well as proof of your identity:

Once your application for marriage allowance has been successful, each year from then on your personal allowance will be automatically transferred meaning you do not have to apply again each year. This will be the case until it is canceled or you inform HMRC that your circumstances have changed.

For more information on marriage allowance:

Isabella PJCO Peter Jarman
Isabella Ackord Paddock

You may also like…

Trivial benefits
Allowable business expenses
Inheritance tax planning
Tax-efficient salary & dividends
Care relief
First-year allowances


Behind every good business is a great accountant.