Millions of married couples and those in civil partnerships could be entitled to up to £252 in income tax relief, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has revealed.

The latest statistics suggest that nearly 1.8 million couples are currently claiming the Marriage Allowance.

But following a change in circumstances, millions more couples may be eligible to claim back tax.

How does the Marriage Allowance work?

Spouses and civil partners can share their personal tax allowances if one partner earns an income of less than the income tax personal allowance (currently £12,750) and the other is a basic rate taxpayer.

If eligible, the lower-earning partner can transfer up to 10 per cent of their tax-free allowance (£1,260) to their partner, meaning couples can reduce the tax they pay by up to £252 a year.

The relief can be backdated by up to four previous tax years, resulting in a maximum saving of £1,220.

What is a “change in circumstances”?

Couples may have experienced a “change in circumstances” following the coronavirus pandemic, meaning they may now be eligible to claim the Marriage Allowance.

This may include:

  • a recent marriage or civil partnership
  • one partner has retired and the other remains in employment
  • a change in employment due to COVID-19
  • a reduction in working hours which means their earnings fall below their Personal Allowance
  • unpaid leave or a career break, or
  • one partner is studying or in education and not earning above their Personal Allowance

What you need to do

Couples can check eligibility and make a Marriage Allowance claim here.

For advice or assistance please contact us.