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  • Paul Clifton

Claiming the Marriage Allowance

Transfer of Marriage Allowance - 10% of Income Personal Allowance

It was David Cameron who set out his party’s pledges to include a new relief to “bolster marriage” and “end the couple penalty for all couples”.

The amount available to claim is not vast; worth only £250 for 2020-21. An estimated 4 million married couples will be eligible.

The main points regarding the allowance are as follows:-

  • The marriage allowance came into force on 6 April 2015

  • Individuals must claim through the GOV.UK website

  • Up to 10% of a spouse’s unused personal allowance can be transferred.

This 10% transfer of allowance is dependant up several conditions:

  • neither spouse is paying tax at the higher rate, i.e. has taxable income below £50,000;

  • the transferor has partial unused personal allowance; and

  • neither spouse is already claiming the married couple’s allowance (where one of the couple is born before 6 April 1935).

Claimants can now claim:

  • through the surrendering spouse’s Self-Assessment Tax Return, or

  • through the GOV.UK website, or

  • through a dedicated telephone helpline.

With the website option, the surrendering spouses must be verified using their passport, driving licence or a recent P60 before being able to complete the claim. They will need their own as well as their spouse’s names, dates of birth and National Insurance numbers.

Once the application has been processed by HMRC they will issue four documents:

  • an amended tax code to the surrendering spouse showing the given up 10% personal allowance and;

  • an amended tax code to the recipient spouse;

  • new tax code to the transferee’s employer or pension provider; and

  • new tax code to the transferor’s employer or pension provider.

A tax codes suffix of ‘M’ will be added for the transferee and ‘N’ for the transferor.

A claim will remain in force whilst the conditions continue to be met or unless it is withdrawn. The claim would cease from the start of the next tax year.

If the claim is made after the tax year to which it relates, it applies for that year only. A new claim would be required for each subsequent year.

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