HMRC is using the wedding season to issue a reminder to married couples and those in civil partnerships to sign up for marriage allowance if they are eligible and haven’t yet done so.
The marriage allowance applies to married couples and those in a civil partnership where a spouse or civil partner doesn’t pay tax or doesn’t 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 2022-23).
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) doesn’t pay more than the basic 20% rate of Income Tax. This would usually mean that their income is between £12,570 to £50,270 in 2022-23. The limits are somewhat different for those living in Scotland.
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. In fact, even if a spouse or civil partner has died since 5 April 2018, the surviving person can still claim the allowance (if they qualify) by contacting HMRC’s Income Tax helpline.
If you meet the eligibility requirements and have not yet claimed the allowance, you can backdate your claim to 6 April 2017. This could result in a total tax-break of up to £1,242 if you can claim for 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22 as well as the current 2022-23 tax year.