22 Jan Claiming Marriage Allowance – Is it worthwhile? | By Faisal Haroon
In April 2015, Marriage tax allowance was introduced in the UK by the then Tory government led by
When this ‘allowance’ was initially announced in 2013, David Cameron wrote in the Mail 1 ‘From April
2015, if neither of you are higher rate taxpayers, you will be able to transfer £1,000 of your tax-free
allowance to your spouse.
Later he tweeted ‘The £1,000 marriage tax allowance will apply to straight and gay couples, as well
as civil partners. Love is love; commitment is commitment.’
The marriage tax allowance allows you to transfer 10% of your personal allowance (the amount you
can earn tax-free each tax year), to your spouse or civil partner, if they earn more than you.
The marriage tax allowance for the tax year 2019/20 is up to £250. However, you can get a rebate by
back-claiming by up to four years. The amounts for each year are:
- 2015/16 – £212
- 2016/17 – £220
- 2017/18 – £230
- 2018/19 – £238
- 2019/20 – £250
This means that if you claim now and backdate, so you get this year’s, and all the previous years’
allowance, you’ll get up to £1,150 . You’ll be paid money for previous tax years as a cheque.
To benefit from claiming marriage allowance, the lower earner must have income of less than the
personal allowance (£12,500 for 2019/20) and their partner must have income of more than the
personal allowance, but not more than the level at which higher rate tax becomes payable. For
2019/20 this equates to income between £12,500 and £50,000.
Ann and John are married and living together. Ann is a stay-at-home mum to their son Peter. John
earns £25,000 from his job as a builder.
They claim the marriage allowance for 2018/19 and 2019/20
For 2019/20 the personal allowance is £12,500. 10% of Ann’s personal allowance (i.e. £1,250) is
transferred to John. Her personal allowance is reduced to £11,250 (£12,500 – £1,250) and John’s
personal allowance is increased to £13,750 (£12,500 + £1,250).
For 2018/19 the transfer is £1,185, leaving Ann with a personal allowance of £10,665 and John with a
personal allowance of £13,035.
Where the marriage allowance is claimed, this will be reflected in the tax codes of both parties. The
recipient will have a tax code with an M suffix and, if the transferor is employed or receives a
pension, their tax code will have an N suffix.
So, this is a substantial benefit to middle class families and the answer to the question posed in this
articles title is a resounding “YES, it is worthwhile “
How to apply
Marriage Allowance can be claimed by filling in the form below;
Once claimed, the transfer will apply for subsequent years automatically. So, if your circumstances
change and you no longer want to transfer the allowance, it must be cancelled.
Claims can be made for up to four years from the end of the tax year.