From April 2015 married couples and civil partners will be eligible for a new transferable tax allowance.
The Transferable Tax Allowance for married couples will enable spouses and civil partners to transfer a fixed amount of their personal allowance to their spouse.
The option to transfer will be available to couples where neither partner is a higher rate taxpayer.
For a couple choosing to use the Transferable Tax Allowance, one individual will be able to transfer £1,000 of their personal allowance to their spouse or civil partner. It will mean that the higher earner will be able to earn £1,000 more before they start paying income tax.
The policy benefits married couples, including same sex married couples and civil partners where one is a basic rate taxpayer (earns below £42,285 in 2015 to 2016) and one has unused personal allowance.
The claim will be made online and entitlement will be from the 2015 to 2016 tax year. Couples will be entitled to the full benefit in their first year of marriage.
For those couples where one person does not use all of their personal allowance at the moment the benefit will be up to £200.
The measure will come in from 2015 to 2016, and couples will benefit from summer 2016.
Over four million couples will benefit from the Transferable Tax Allowance, including 15,000 couples in civil partnerships.
It will be of most benefit to those households on lower incomes.
It builds on other steps the government has taken to support low and middle income earners including increasing the personal allowance to reach £10,000, freezing council tax for a third year in a row and freezing fuel duty for nearly three and a half years.
Photo by Lee J Haywood on Flickr. Used under creative commons.