More than 2m couples have claimed transferrable marriage allowance since it was introduced in 2015 but many more are entitled to claim this allowance. The relief is worth up to £1,220 in total for all years still in time (2017/18 to 2021/22). Any claim relating to 2017/18 needs to be made by 5 April 2022.
Marriage allowance lets married couples and those in civil partnerships transfer 10% of their personal tax allowance if one partner does not earn enough to pay tax and the other is a basic rate taxpayer.
A change in circumstances may mean a couple is newly entitled. These can include:
- a marriage or civil partnership;
- a drop in the income of one partner due to unemployment, reduction in working hours, retirement etc; and
- one partner taking unpaid leave, a career break or studying.
If a spouse or civil partner has died since 5 April 2017, the survivor can still claim the allowance by contacting the income tax helpline.
Claims must be made by the transferor (the lower earner). Claims that are made using the online service roll forward to subsequent years, but those made on a self assessment tax return do not.
Couples who are no longer entitled to the allowance should cancel their claim.
Other claims for reliefs relating to 2017/18 that should be considered before the 5 April 2022 deadline include:
- Blind person’s allowance
- Tax relief for employment expenses (including the £6 per week working from home allowance which applies in 2020/21 and 2021/22 if an employee was required to work from home even for just one day)
- Tax relief for pension contributions
- Higher rate relief on gift aid donations
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