NOTE: You are viewing documentation for a previous tax year version of BrightPay. Click here to view the documentation for the current 2021/22 tax year version.

Marriage Allowance

Marriage Allowance allows a spouse or civil partner who does not pay tax, or does not pay tax above the basic rate of income tax, to transfer up to £1,250 of their personal tax-free allowance to a spouse or civil partner, as long as the recipient of the transfer does not pay more than the basic rate of income tax. This could represent a saving of up to £250 for tax year 2019/20 for eligible couples.

To be eligible for the Marriage Allowance, the following must apply:

1. You must be married or in a civil partnership.

2. One of you needs to be earning £12,500 or less 

3. The other one of you needs to be a basic-rate taxpayer (couples with a higher- or additional-rate taxpayer aren't eligible for this allowance).

4. Both of you must have been born after 6 April 1935.

Eligible couples can apply for the marriage allowance at

On successful application, both the transferor and recipient’s tax codes will subsequently be amended by HMRC as follows:

  • M will be used for the spouse/civil partner receiving the transferred allowance

  • N will be used for the spouse/civil partner transferring the allowance


It doesn't matter when in this tax year the application is made – changes to each partner's Personal Allowance will be backdated to the start of the tax year if the application is successful.

Once allocated the Marriage Allowance, there will be no need to apply every year going forward. The personal allowance will transfer automatically to the partner every year until one of the partner's cancels the marriage allowance or informs HMRC that circumstances have changed e.g. because of divorce, employment pushing you into a higher rate tax threshold or death.


Need help? Support is available at 0345 9390019 or

Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Guidance for BrightPay UsersImportant Information for Mac UsersBureau Enhancements - Additional Functionality Bureau Licence Holders (Only)Installing BrightPayOrdering for The New Tax YearImporting From The Previous Tax YearMoving to BrightPay from another payroll softwareEmployer DetailsEmployee DetailsCoding NoticesProcessing PayrollImporting Pay Data using CSV FilePayroll CalendarPayslip TranslationsMaking Corrections to PayrollPre-paying an EmployeeScheduling Future PaymentsSwitching an Employee's Pay FrequencyRTICommon HMRC Error MessagesHMRC PaymentsAnalysisGender Pay Gap ReportingPayroll JournalsStartersLeaversStudent Loan DeductionsPostgraduate Loan DeductionsStatutory PaymentsPensions (outside of Automatic Enrolment)Attachment of EarningsExpenses & BenefitsPayroll GivingDirectorsEmployee CalendarEmployer CalendarHolidaysRates & Thresholds at a GlanceTaxScottish Rate of Income TaxWelsh Rate of Income TaxNational InsuranceEmployment AllowanceApprenticeship LevyNational Minimum/Living WageOff-Payroll Working in the Public SectorMileage Allowance Payments (MAPs)Year EndBacking Up/Restoring Your PayrollBrightPay Licence Terms and ConditionsConstruction Industry Scheme (CIS)Automatic EnrolmentBrightPay ConnectGDPR