Marriage allowance – an update on the application process
The new marriage allowance for married couples and civil partners came into effect on 6 April 2015. It enables eligible couples to save up to £212 tax in a year. We provide an update on the application process.
Who can claim the allowance?
The marriage allowance allows an individual whose income does not allow them to make use of their full personal allowance (£10,600) to transfer 10% of this allowance, £1,060, to their partner. The individual’s spouse or civil partner can then set their own personal allowance, plus the transferred part of their partner’s allowance, against their own income, resulting in a tax saving of up to £212 in a year for a couple (20% of £1,060).
It is important that the spouse or civil partner who receives the transferred allowance is not a higher-rate taxpayer (meaning that in 2015/16 they have an income of more than £42,385, or £44,675 if the partner receiving the transferred allowance is entitled to the blind person’s allowance). In addition, if one of partners was born before 6 April 1935, the couple may be entitled to a different allowance called the married couple’s allowance which will provide a bigger tax saving than the marriage allowance (see below).
How do I claim the allowance?
At present an individual can only claim to transfer the marriage allowance to their partner by registering online through GOV.UK. The individual will then be asked to use GOV.UK’s Verify procedure to confirm their identity. There are certain circumstances in which an individual will not be able to use Verify, for example the individual must have a UK passport or driving licence. If the individual is unable to confirm their identity using Verify they will be advised to call HMRC’s PAYE helpline on 0300 200 3300. The individual who telephones HMRC must be the partner who is transferring part of their allowance and they will need to have details of both their own and their partner’s National Insurance number, date of birth and address.
From a future date it will be possible to claim the allowance without first registering with GOV.UK and we will provide an update at that time.
Further information about the marriage allowance, provided by LITRG, can be found here.
Married couple’s allowance
Finally, do not confuse this allowance with the married couple’s allowance (MCA). The MCA is only available to married couples or civil partners if one of them was born before 6 April 1935. If this applies to you then you can find out more information, provided by LITRG, here or official commentary on GOV.UK.