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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 in the tax year 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).

NB. 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.

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.


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