Marriage Allowance

07 - 01 - 2021

What is the Marriage Allowance?


The Marriage Allowance is a tax allowance introduced for married couples and those in civil partnerships.

Who can claim Marriage Allowance?


Anyone who is part of a married couple or in a civil partnership can claim.


How does Marriage Allowance work?


A spouse or civil partner who has an income below their Personal Allowance i.e. has unused personal tax allowance (2019/20 income below £12,500) can transfer up to £1,250 of their personal tax free allowance to their spouse or civil partner.


Who is eligible to claim Marriage Allowance?


The recipient of the transfer must not pay more than the basic rate of income tax, therefore, currently the total income limit is £50,000 (Scotland £43,430).


How do I apply?


You can apply for Marriage Allowance online at


The person with the lowest income should make the claim. The application is made online to transfer the allowance to their spouse or civil partner.


How does the recipient receive the allowance?


HMRC will either:


  • tell the recipient and transferor about the change to their PAYE tax codes. The new tax code for the recipient will end with a “M”. The transferor tax code will be changed to have a “N” at the end. Please note that this can take up to 2 months to be issued, or;


  • will give the extra allowance when the recipient completes their Self Assessment tax return.



Do I have to register at the start of the tax year?


No. You can register at any point in the tax year and still receive the full benefit of the allowance for the whole of the tax year.



Can you backdate a claim to a previous tax year?


Yes. Until 05 April 2021 you can backdate a claim to the 2016/17 tax year if you were entitled to claim Marriage Allowance at the time.


A backdated claim can be made for up to 4 years. For example, a claim for the year ending 05 April 2019 can be made until 05 April 2023.



If you would like to discuss any of the issues noted above please contact us on:


01244 625 500 or 01978 364 000


Whilst all due care and attention has been taken in the preparation of these notes no liability

can be accepted for any omission or item contained therein.


Foremans LLP

April 2020






Foremans LLP Umberlla
Foremans LLP