Marriage Tax Allowance

What is a marriage tax allowance, who qualifies for it and how to claim.

Are you married or in a civil partnership? If so you may be entitled to a £900 tax break called the marriage tax allowance. Yet about one million couples are still missing out.

 It’s free money, so worth checking – and you can now qualify even if your partner has passed away.

Marriage Allowance lets you transfer £1,190 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner. This can reduce their tax by up to £238 every tax year (6 April to 5 April the next year).


Eligibility is the most important factor, as only people with these specific circumstances will be able to apply:

  • You’re married or in a civil partnership (just living together doesn’t count).
  • You need to earn less than your partner and have an income of £11,850 or less. Your partner’s income must be between £11,851 and £46,350 (£43,430 in Scotland) for you to be eligible.
  • The other partner needs to be a basic 20% rate taxpayer (higher or additional-rate taxpayers aren’t eligible for this allowance). This means you’d normally need to earn less than £46,350 (£45,000 for 2017/18 and £43,000 for 2016/17) or if you live in Scotland, £43,430 (£42,385 for 2015/16).
  • You both must have been born on or after 6 April 1935

You can backdate your claim to include any tax year since 5 April 2015 that you were eligible for Marriage Allowance. If your partner has since died you can still claim – phone the Income Tax helpline.

How much can I get?

The marriage tax allowance for the tax year 2018/19 is up to £238. However, you can backdate your claim by up to four years, though it only started in April 2015 so you can’t go beyond that. The amounts for each year are:

  • 2015/16 – £212
  • 2016/17 – £220
  • 2017/18– £230
  • 2018/19– £238

This means that if you claim now and backdate, so you get all the previous years’ and this year’s allowance, you’ll get up to £900. You’ll be paid money for previous tax years as a cheque. You won’t have to tick any boxes or make a special request for this as it’ll happen automatically.

marriage tax allowance