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According to HMRC, couples who are married or in civil partnerships could be due a financial boost by sharing unused tax allowances.

HMRC has revealed that March is the most popular month for Marriage Allowance (MA) applications, with almost 70,000 couples applying in March last year. And with the option to backdate their claim for the previous 4 tax years, eligible couples could receive a lump-sum payment worth more than £1,000, in addition to reducing their tax bill for the 2023-24 tax year by up to £252.

The MA saves couples money by allowing the lower or non-earner to reduce the amount of tax their partner/spouse pays by transferring up to £1,260 of their Personal Allowance in the current tax year (2023-24).

The MA can be transferred to their husband, wife or civil partner but there are restrictions on who can claim.

To benefit from the tax relief, one partner must have income less than the Personal Allowance of £12,570, and the higher earning partner’s income must be between £12,571 and £50,270 (£43,662 in Scotland). To clarify, in Scotland, couples can benefit from MA if the partner with the higher income pays income tax at the starter, basic rate or intermediate rate – which typically means their income is between £12,571 and £43,662.

If you are eligible, we suggest you make your application before the end of March to avail yourself of any backdated claims you are able to make.

Unfortunately, you cannot claim this allowance if you are living together but you are not married or in a civil partnership.

The easiest way to claim Marriage Allowance is online via GOV.UK.

It will not affect your application for MA if you or your partner:

  • are currently receiving a pension; or
  • live abroad – as long as you still qualify for a UK Personal Tax Allowance

If you or your partner were born before 6 April 1935, you might benefit more as a couple by applying for Married Couple’s Allowance instead.

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