Though the names are similar enough to make things nice and confusing, the Marriage Allowance and Married Couple’s Allowance have slightly different requirements. Don’t worry, we’ll take you through the basics.
The Marriage Allowance is a type of tax relief which allows a UK tax payer to transfer part of their tax free Personal Allowance over to their partner. The Personal Allowance is the amount of money someone can earn in a tax year before they have to start paying tax on it.
The Marriage Allowance for 2023/24 is
Whilst the Personal Allowance is deducted from your total taxable income at the end of the year, the Marriage Allowance is credited as a reduction on your tax bill.
Will my tax code change?
Yes, if you choose to use the Marriage Allowance then both your and your partner’s tax code will change.
The recipient’s tax code will normally change to M
The sender’s tax code will usually change to N
Can the Marriage Allowance be backdated?
You can backdate Marriage Allowance claims by up to 4 years, but you must be eligible for all of those years. Earnings should also fall within the specific tax thresholds of any past years.
Who is eligible for the Marriage Allowance?
You are eligible for Marriage Allowance as long as:
You’re married or in a civil partnership
You don’t already receive Married Couple’s Allowance (which we’ll get to!)
You were born after April 6th 1935
One of you is earning less than the Personal Allowance, and therefore isn’t eligible to tax (i.e. earning less than £12,570 in the 2023/24 tax year).
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What is the Married Couple’s Allowance?
The Married Couple’s Allowance is a more generous version of the Marriage Allowance. Couples who are married or in a civil partnership are only eligible if one of you was born before 6th April 1935.
For couples married before December 5th 2005, the amount of allowance that can be transferred is calculated using the husband’s salary. You can still transfer this over to your wife.
Civil partnerships and marriages taking place after December 5th 2005 calculate the allowance using the salary of the highest earner in the couple.
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A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.