Marriage Allowance: Who can claim and get back £900 of income tax?

31st October 2019

The Marriage Allowance was introduced back in April 2015, but HMRC have recently advised that roughly 700,000 couples around the country who qualify are still not claiming the relief.


The Marriage Allowance explained simply

The Marriage Allowance allows couples to transfer 10% of one spouse’s tax-free personal allowance to the other, where it’s not being fully utilised. For example, if one spouse is not working and does not have any taxable income, the claim could be made to save their spouse paying tax on £1,250 of income for the current tax year.

Qualification & restrictions

As with most tax reliefs introduced by HMRC, there are certain restrictions that apply. Primarily, the spouse receiving the 10% must be a basic rate tax payer (i.e. pays tax on employment and/or pension income at 20%).

If a successful Marriage Allowance claim is made, this can be backdated for the past four tax years, meaning that full relief can be claimed since the allowance was introduced. A claim for all four tax years must be made by 5 April 2020, otherwise, part of the relief will be lost.

The claim could be worth up to £900 per couple:

Tax Year Max. Repayment of Income Tax
2015-16 Tax Year (e.g. 6 April 2015 – 5 April 2016) £212
2016-17 Tax Year £220
2017-18 Tax Year £230
2018-19 Tax Year £238
Total available repayment of Income Tax £900

How do I claim for Marriage Allowance?

A claim for Marriage Allowance can be made either online or by phone:

The claim must be made by the individual transferring their allowance, not the receiving spouse.

Once the claim has been made, it will remain in place and this will be reflected on either (or both), of your payslips and tax returns. The claim can be cancelled at any point in the future if it’s no longer tax advantageous, or you cease to meet the criteria.

At Old Mill we keep an eye out for these types of reliefs when preparing our clients’ Self Assessment Tax Returns and assist with making claims where appropriate. If you have any queries, please contact your adviser, or if you’re new to us, then see our personal & family tax planning page or get in touch with us to see how we may be able to help you.