The marriage allowance was introduced in April 2015, but it has taken many months to get the application problems sorted out. It was introduced to enable couples to share part of their unused personal allowances.
The claim for marriage allowance equates to £212 in cash a year. The rules permit up to 10% of a spouse’s or civil partner’s unused personal allowance to be transferred. In 2015/2016 the personal allowance is £10,600, 10% of this is £1,060 and a 20% tax saving would be £212. In 2016/2017 when the personal allowances are increased to £11,000 the marriage allowance will be worth £220.
This claim for marriage allowance is conditional on the following factors:
- you are married or in a civil partnership
- you have an annual income of less than £10,600, including pensions, savings and investments
- your spouse or civil partner has an annual income of between £10,601 and £42,385 (2015/2016 rates)
- you were both born on or after 6 April 1935
In order to make a claim for the marriage allowance, it is the individual who is transferring their personal allowance (the one with the lower income) themselves who have to make the claim. The tax agent is not permitted to make a claim.
The claim can be back dated for a period of 4 years, but bear in mind that it was only introduced in April 2015.
Applications can be made via the HMRC website: https://www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance
Once the application has been accepted by HMRC a new tax code will be issued. Tax codes will be adjusted to show that a transfer has been made; M for the spouse receiving the allowance and N for the spouse transferring the allowance.
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