What is Marriage Allowance?

Marriage Allowance is a government initiative aimed at reducing the tax burden for married couples or civil partners. This scheme allows one partner to transfer a portion of their unused personal tax allowance to their spouse or civil partner, which can lead to a significant reduction in their overall tax liability.

Eligibility Criteria

To take advantage of Marriage Allowance, couples must meet specific eligibility requirements:

  • The partner transferring their unused allowance (the lower earner) must earn less than the current Personal Allowance threshold of £12,570.
  • The recipient of the transfer (the higher earner) should have an income that falls within the basic rate tax band, which ranges from £12,571 to £50,270 for the same tax year.
  • Both individuals must be born on or after 6th April 1935.

This allowance is only applicable if both partners are within the specified income brackets, ensuring that the benefit supports those who need it most, without extending beyond the basic tax rate threshold.


Applying for Marriage Allowance is straightforward.

The partner with the unused tax allowance needs to submit a claim online through HMRC. This process is designed to be user-friendly and accessible to all eligible couples.

When you claim Marriage Allowance, you transfer £1,260 of your Personal Allowance to your partner. Your Personal Allowance becomes £11,310 and your partner gets a ‘tax credit’ on £1,260 of their taxable income.


The financial implications of opting for Marriage Allowance can be substantial. For example: If the higher earner is not fully utilising their Personal Tax Allowance transferring it to the lower earn can result in an annual tax reduction of up to £252. This makes it an appealing option for couples looking to optimise their tax savings.


While Marriage Allowance offers potential savings, couples need to consider their individual circumstance before applying. Changes in income, adjustments in tax rates, or alterations in employment status can affect eligibility and the benefits of the scheme.

It is advisable to review one’s financial situation annually to ensure continued eligibility and benefit from the allowance.

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