The Marriage Allowance

Chris Stedman
Senior Partner
November 29, 2020
6 min read

This is a relatively new allowance which first became available in the year 2015/16. Unlike other reliefs it is a transfer of excess allowances from one spouse to another.

But the rules are tightly drawn:

  • It cannot be claimed by those already entitled to the married couple’s allowance. So this eliminates anyone born before 6th April 1935.
  • It cannot be claimed if one spouse is paying tax at higher rate. So this eliminates anyone with an income exceeding £50,000 (£46,350 in 2018/19).
  • It can be claimed where one spouse has income below £12,000 and the other spouse is paying tax at basic rate.

How does it work?

If both spouses are under self-assessment then the claim should be made by the spouse with the lower income at the foot of page TR5. The allowance will then be deductible in the other spouse’s tax calculation or PAYE code. Alternatively go to Marriage Allowance on the HMRC website and follow the instructions.

What is the tax relief?

In 2019/20 the allowance is £1,250 which results in a tax saving of £250.This figure will increase as the personal allowance moves up with inflation.

Can I go back to earlier years?

Yes, claims can be backdated four years. The years 2015/16,2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 should be reviewed.

Who is likely to benefit?

Frankly, not many couples will qualify. In a typical situation where the wife is at home bringing up the family the husband is paying tax at higher rates. Uncommon situations do arise from time to time. Examples:

  • Taxable income falls as a result of reduced self employment income.
  • Taxable income falls as a result of a significant pension payment or gift aid donation.
  • Taxable income falls on account of a redundancy

Remember – even if you don’t qualify there could be others in the family who do.

C&H Stedman

For more info, give us a call on 01442 202650

Subscribe to Steddi Updates

Get industry insights that you won't delete, straight to your inbox.
We use contact information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information, check out our Privacy Policy.

More news


Inheritance Tax - Loan Waivers

It is not uncommon for moderately well-off parents to help their children with loans (particularly in connection with the acquisition of property) which later on in life they proceed to convert to gifts when their own circumstances are assured. What documentation is necessary? Do you really need to bother?

Read Article

Tax Chat #2

Many clients sensibly set up a direct debit for payment of VAT which not only gives a few days extra to pay VAT but also ensures HMRC receive your payment on time, we at C&H Stedman always recommend this.

Read Article

Tax Chat #1

There is currently a lot of activity and hype about the 130% super-deduction for companies that ends on 31 March 2023, you may be being encouraged to take advantage of it while it is there or thinking of bringing capital expenditure forward to take advantage of it.

Read Article