2.4 million qualifying couples in the UK are missing out on marriage allowance

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What is marriage allowance?

Marriage allowance allows you to transfer £1,260 of your personal allowance to your civil partner, wife or husband. This reduces their tax by £252 in the following tax year. The lower earner therefore benefits the couple as their income, which is less than £12,570, saves the couple tax. Although transferring some of your personal allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner may mean that they pay more tax, it means that you both pay less as a couple combined.

Who is eligible for marriage allowance? 

You can benefit greatly from marriage allowance if you fall into any of the following; 

  • You are married or in a civil partnership
  • Both parties within the marriage or civil partnership were born after 6th April 1935
  • Your income is less than £12,570, which is the personal allowance
  • Your partner pays income tax at the basic rate which means that their income is between £12,571- £50,270 before they receive marriage allowance.

Remember: You can only claim marriage allowance if you are married or in a civil partnership. Therefore, you cannot claim if you are living together or in a long term relationship.

Married couples allowance

Married couples allowance is available for married couples or civil partnerships with at least one party born before 6th April 1935. The current allowance is £9125 for 2021-22 (£9,075 for 2020-21). The married couples’ allowance reduces tax liability. Various factors, such as age and income, dictate the allowance amount. If the necessary conditions are met, some or all of the allowance can be transferred from one party to another.

How long before you see a change in your take home income amount? 

Upon application you will receive a new tax code. This tax code automatically generates the tax amount that you save due to the marriage allowance. 

Tip: To see a difference in your taxable amount you should ask your employer to get the new code in on time, e.g. if you are paid monthly on the 30th, your employer should get your new tax code in on the 15th, if not you will have to wait another month to see a difference in your tax amount. 

How to apply

It is free to apply for marriage allowance. Before applying you will need your National Insurance number as well as your partners. You will also need to prove your identity. To do so, you can use any two of the following: 

  • UK passport
  • Information regarding your credit file
  • Your P60
  • 3 of your most recent payslips
  • Details of your Self Assessment tax return (recent 3 years) 

Tip: It is quicker and easier to apply online. You will then get a confirmation on your application within 24 hours!

If you cannot apply online, you can apply for marriage allowance by: 


There are multiple benefits to the marriage allowance, including the fact that you can still receive this allowance if:

  • You are receiving a pension
  • You are living abroad
  • You are able to backdate your claim and include any tax you were eligible for from 5th April 2017
  • Your partner has died

Remember: The non-tax payer (lower earner) between the two of you needs to apply for the marriage allowance. However, you do not have to reapply every year, as the marriage allowance automatically continues to apply to the taxpayer annually.

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