What’s mine is yours

jamesrooney Apr 13th, 2018

Simple, inexpensive and easily claimed tax-saving practices are fairly thin on the ground, but Marriage Allowance ticks all of these boxes, despite it not being used as widely as it probably ought to be.

Marriage Allowance allows a non-taxpaying individual to transfer a sum equivalent to 10% of the Personal Allowance (i.e. £1,150) to a taxpaying husband, wife or civil partner. The non-taxpayer must have an income of £11,500 or less.

Transferring this additional Personal Allowance of £1,150 will reduce the taxpayer’s income tax liability by up to £230 in the current tax year.

Additionally, a claim can be backdated to include any tax year since 5th April 2015 during which the couple were eligible to claim Marriage Allowance.

In order to be eligible to claim Marriage Allowance all of the following must apply:

  • The couple must be married or in a civil partnership;
  • The non-taxpayer must have no income, or income of £11,500 or less; and
  • The taxpayer must have income of between £11,501 and £45,000.

As an example:

  • Mrs Smith is a non-taxpayer, with a full personal allowance of £11,500.
  • She elects to transfer the unused Personal Allowance of £1,150 to her husband, Mr Smith, who earns £35,000 per annum.
  • Mr Smith’s Personal Allowance therefore increases from £11,500, to £12,650.
  • This saves Mr Smith tax of £230 in the current tax year.
  • Additionally, Mr Smith will also receive a tax rebate of £432 in respect of backdated entitlement for the previous two tax years.

Making a claim (which must be made by the non-taxpayer of the couple) is very straightforward and can be done via the HMRC website, a link to which is below:


Once a claim has been made and accepted by HMRC, the Personal Allowance will automatically be transferred each tax year.

As with most matters such as these, HMRC will need to be informed of any changes in circumstances (i.e. a change in income, divorce, death etc.) as they occur.

In summary, for very little effort it is possible to achieve a reasonable tax saving each and every year.