The Marriage Allowance is now a year old, but it seems that most couples aren’t taking advantage of the tax break. If you or your partner is a low earner, you could get a tax break worth a total of £432.
Only certain couples can get the Marriage Allowance and it depends on your situation and how much you earn. But if you are eligible, you can transfer some of your Personal Allowance to your partner so they’ll pay less tax. Let’s find out how you can do this.
Married or in a civil partnership
If you’re eligible for the Marriage Allowance, you could transfer up to £1,100 to your husband, wife or civil partner. You both need to born on or after 6 April 1935 and you or your partner must be a ‘non-taxpayer’.
This just means you earn less than Personal Allowance in a year – £11,000 for 2016/17. It doesn’t matter if you’re self-employed, unemployed or you’re off on maternity leave – as long as you earn less than £11,000, you’ll qualify.
You can only get the Marriage Allowance if you’re married or in a civil partnership – it doesn’t count if you just live together or you’re in a common-law marriage.
The Marriage Allowance is a good way to save on your tax bill as once you’ve signed up, it’s just free money. But according to new stats, just 8 per cent of eligible couples applied for the tax break last year. That’s why it’s really important to check now if you could claim – you don’t want to miss out.
Claim for this year and last year
Don’t worry if you could get the Marriage Allowance last year but you didn’t claim. If you claim for the Marriage Allowance now, you’ll get last year’s allowance backdated. This means you’ll get this year’s tax break of £220 and last year’s allowance worth £212 – giving you a total tax saving of £432.
If you leave it even later, the Government says you can claim for up to four years of Marriage Allowance. You should still apply sooner rather than later though – you don’t want to leave it too late and miss out completely.
You can apply for the Marriage Allowance on the Government’s website. You’ll need both of your National Insurance numbers, as well as some ID for the person who doesn’t pay tax. Your partner will then get the backdated amount as a tax code ending with N and your tax code will end with M.
Only the person who doesn’t pay tax should apply, as they’re the one transferring their Personal Allowance. So if you want your partner to transfer some of their Personal Allowance to you, don’t apply for the Marriage Allowance – it’s your partner who should apply for the tax break.