Tax allowances - civil partnerships and marriage

September 19

Are you married or in a civil partnership? If so you may be entitled to a £1,150 tax break called the marriage tax allowance. Marriage tax allowance lets you transfer £1,250 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner if these specific circumstances apply:

  • • You must be married or in a civil partnership (just living together doesn't count).
  • • One of you needs to be a non-taxpayer, which usually means earning less than the £12,500 personal allowance between 6 April 2019 and 5 April 2020.
  • • 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 £50,000 
  • • You both must have been born on or after 6 April 1935 

So, in a nutshell, one of you must be a non-taxpayer and one must be a basic-rate taxpayer.

The marriage tax allowance for the tax year 2019/20 is up to £250. However, you can backdate your claim by up to four years, which means that if you claim now and backdate, you could get up to £1,150. 

You can apply for Marriage Allowance online at www.gov.uk/apply-marriage-allowance. The person with the lowest income should make the claim. If your application is successful, changes to your Personal Allowances will be backdated to the start of the tax year (6 April).

HMRC will give your partner their extra allowance either:

  • • by changing their tax code - this can take up to 2 months
  • • when they send their Self Assessment tax return

Your tax code will also change if you’re employed or get a pension. Your new code will reflect your new Personal Allowance and will end with ‘N’. If your new Personal Allowance is lower than your income after you’ve made a claim, you might have to pay some income tax. However, you might still benefit as a couple.

Your Personal Allowance will transfer automatically to your partner every year until one of you cancels Marriage Allowance or your circumstances change, for example because of divorce or death. If your circumstances change you can cancel Marriage Allowance online. You’ll be asked to prove your identity using information HMRC holds about you. If you stop transferring the allowance to your partner, it will run until the end of the tax year (5 April).

More information about married tax allowance and income tax in general can be found at www.gov.uk or call the HMRC helpline on 0300 200 3300 (it helps to have your National Insurance number with you when you call). Advisers at Uttlesford Citizens Advice can help check your eligibility and offer advice on benefits and tax allowances as well as housing, debt, relationship and employment issues. Call 01799 618840 for an appointment.

Barnards Yard, CB11 4EB

T: 01799 618840 

W: uttlesfordcab.org.uk

E: bureau@uttlesfordcab.cabnet.org.uk

Saffron Walden 9.30 to 3.30 M.T.Th.F. (appointments available Weds)

Great Dunmow 9.30 to 3.30 T. W. Th.

Stansted Mountfitchet and Thaxted by appointment only

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