Marriage Allowance

How it works

Marriage Allowance lets you transfer £1,190 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner - if they earn more than you.

This reduces their tax by up to £238 in the tax year (6 April to 5 April the next year).

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

To benefit as a couple, you (as the lower earner) must normally have an income below your Personal Allowance - this is usually £11,850.

You can calculate how much tax you’ll pay as a couple. You should call the Income Tax helpline instead if either:

  • you receive other income such as dividends or savings
  • you or your partner are a Scottish taxpayer

You can backdate your claim to include any tax year since 5 April 2015 that you were eligible for Marriage Allowance.

If your partner has died since 5 April 2015 you can still claim - phone the Income Tax helpline. If your partner was the lower earner, the person responsible for managing their tax affairs needs to phone.

Who can apply

You can benefit from Marriage Allowance if all the following apply:

  • you’re married or in a civil partnership
  • you do not pay income tax or your income is below your Personal Allowance (usually £11,850)
  • your partner pays income tax at the basic rate, which usually means their income is between £11,851 and £46,350

If you’re in Scotland, your partner must pay the starter, basic or intermediate rate, which usually means their income is between £11,850 and £43,430.

It will not affect your application for Marriage Allowance if you or your partner:

  • are currently receiving a pension
  • live abroad - as long as you get a Personal Allowance.

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.

You cannot get Marriage Allowance and Married Couple’s Allowance at the same time.