What tax allowances am I entitled to?

Updated on 1 August 2016

In this section, we look at tax allowances and what you may be entitled to.

What are tax allowances?

Most tax allowances work by reducing your taxable income to reduce the amount of income tax you pay. This means that you can have a certain amount of taxable income each year, tax free.

You only pay income tax on taxable income that is above your tax allowances.

We explain who is eligible for UK tax allowances in the ‘tax basics’ section of this website.

What is the personal allowance?

The personal allowance is a tax allowance that is available to most people who are resident in the UK. It reduces the amount of taxable income on which you pay tax.

There is more information on the basic personal allowance, including an example, in our ‘tax basics’ section.

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What is the age-related personal allowance?

This is no longer applicable from 6 April 2016.

If you want more information, including examples, on the age-related personal allowance you can find this in the 'pensioners' section of this website.

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What is blind person’s allowance?

Blind person's allowance (BPA) reduces the amount of taxable income that you have to pay tax on. If you are eligible for BPA, you are entitled to it in addition to the personal allowance

There is more information on BPA including the eligibility criteria in the ‘tax basics’ section.

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What is married couple’s allowance?

The married couple's allowance (MCA) does not reduce the amount of taxable income on which you pay tax. It is used to calculate an amount to reduce your tax bill instead.

There is more information on MCA including examples in the 'pensioners' section of this website.

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What is the relief for maintenance payments?

You can find information on the relief for maintenance payments in our ‘tax basics' section.

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Can I transfer my allowances to my spouse or civil partner?

We are often asked if married couples or civil partners can transfer their tax allowances to their spouse or partner if they do not use them. Some allowances are transferable, but others are not.

Marriage allowance or transferable tax allowance

You can only transfer some of the personal allowance or the age-related personal allowance to your spouse or civil partner, if you meet certain conditions. This is known as the transferable tax allowance for married couples and civil partners or “marriage allowance”. Note that this is not an extra allowance – it is part of the personal allowance.

There is more information about the marriage allowance in the ‘tax basics’ section.

Other allowances

You can transfer the BPA to your spouse or civil partner, if your income is too low to make use of it. For more information on transferring BPA, visit the ‘tax basics’ section.

You can transfer the MCA to your spouse or civil partner, if your income is too low to make use of it. For more information on transferring MCA, visit the ‘pensioners’ section.

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How does marriage separation affect my tax allowances?

For information on how marriage separation affects your tax allowances, look at our ‘tax basics’ section.

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Where can I find more information?

For more information on tax allowances, you may find the following section of this website helpful:

  • There is more information, including examples, on the personal allowance in the ‘tax basics’ section of this website;
  • There is more information, including examples, on the marriage allowance in the 'tax basics' section of this website;
  • There is more information, including examples, on the BPA, in the ‘tax basics’ section of this website;
  • If you want more information on the age-related personal allowance you can find this in the 'pensioners' section of this website;
  • If you want more information including examples on MCA you can find this in the 'pensioners' section of this website;
  • You can check which allowances are included in your Notice of Coding by looking at your online personal tax account that you can read about in our 'tax basics' section.

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