The marriage allowance allows an individual to transfer 10% of their personal allowance (£12,570 in 2021/22 so the amount transferred is £1,260) to their spouse or civil partner. 20% of this allowance is then given as a reduction in the recipient’s tax bill. This can result in anything up to a £252 tax saving for the couple.
The marriage allowance came into effect on 6 April 2015. Some couples are only just becoming aware of the marriage allowance. The good news is that claims can be backdated for up to four years.
The marriage allowance was introduced in April 2015. You can claim to transfer the personal allowance for 2017/18 and subsequent tax years, even if you didn’t do it at the time. It is no longer possible to make a claim for the 2015/16 or 2016/17 tax year.
You will only get the full benefit if the person giving up the allowance is not using it AND the person receiving the tax reduction can use it.
The person giving up part of their personal allowance needs to make the claim and as part of doing this, can make claims for earlier years also.
For prior years, you will receive a refund cheque from HMRC. For the current tax year and going forward, your own and your spouse or civil partner’s tax codes will be amended. For the self-employed and others in Self Assessment, the marriage allowance will be dealt with as part of the Self Assessment tax return.
There was a glitch in HMRC’s systems that meant the marriage allowance was being omitted from Self Assessment calculations, but we understand this has now been fixed. It is always worth checking your Self Assessment calculation carefully however to make sure that the marriage allowance claim has been processed properly.
If your circumstances change, such as you divorce or you or your spouse become a higher rate taxpayer, you should let HMRC know as you will no longer be eligible for the marriage allowance.
In order to claim back to 2017/18, couples have until 5 April 2022. For 2021/22, you have until 5 April 2026 to submit a claim.