If you qualify, the marriage allowance will reduce your tax bill and save your family money every year.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” And how right was he? Although I’m still here, so I’m clinging to the hope that he was only half correct.
Generally, the more you work, the more tax you pay. Although if you’re rich enough, it does appear there are ways around paying tax…
Anyway, for those of us who earn under £100,000, we receive a tax-free Personal Allowance of £11,500 each year. That means the majority of us don’t pay any Income Tax on the first £11,500 that we earn each year. Once we pass that figure, we pay 20% tax on any earnings above that amount. Then, for those lucky few that earn beyond £45,000, they will have to pay 40%.
But the Personal Allowance isn’t the only way to avoid paying tax. Another way is by using your Marriage Allowance.
In 2015, the Marriage Allowance was introduced. This meant that a spouse or civil partner could transfer 10% (now worth £1150) of their unused Personal Allowance to their spouse.
Finally, a real reason to celebrate marriage!
However, it appears that this tax break is not very well known, as two million couple have yet to claim it.
Who can claim?
You can get Marriage Allowance if all the following apply:
- you’re married or in a civil partnership
- you don’t earn anything or your income is £11,500 or less
- your partner’s income is between £11,501 and £45,000 (or £43,000 if you’re in Scotland)
It won’t 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.
How much is it worth?
If you qualify for the maximum amount, then it means a reduction on your tax bill of £230 per year. And the good thing is, it can be backdated to April 2015. If you’ve never claimed before, you could be in-line for a small lump sum.
You can find out if you’re eligible to claim, and how much you could save, by visiting the government website.
How to apply
Surprisingly, putting in an application isn’t particularly confusing (which is odd for a government form), although you do need to have some information to hand.
Before you get started:
You need you and your partner’s National Insurance numbers.
You also need a way to prove your identity. This can be one of the following:
- the last 4 digits of the account that your child benefit, tax credits or pension is paid into
- the last 4 digits of an account that pays you interest
- details from your P60
- details from any of your 3 most recent payslips
- your passport number and expiry date
Once you have all these details, you can apply online by following this link.
Although not all couples will qualify, it is certainly worth checking to see if you can cut your tax bill.
Or, if you’re looking for other ways to save, take a look at how you can reduce your tax bill if you wear a uniform for work.