What tax allowances am I entitled to?

Updated on 20 April 2019

Self-employment

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.

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What is the personal allowance?

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

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

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What is the blind person’s allowance?

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

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

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What is the 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. You are only entitled to MCA if you are married or in a civil partnership and at least one of you was born before 6 April 1935.

There is more information on the MCA including examples in the pensioners section.

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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 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 blind person's allowance (BPA) to your spouse or civil partner, if your income is too low to make use of it. For more information on transferring the BPA, visit the tax basics section.

You can transfer the married couple's allowance (MCA) to your spouse or civil partner, if your income is too low to make use of it. For more information on transferring the MCA, visit the pensioners section.

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How does marriage or civil partnership separation affect my tax allowances?

For information on how marriage or civil partnership separation affects your tax allowances, look at our tax basics section.

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Other allowances – trading allowance and property allowance

If you have income from running a small business, or untaxed casual/miscellaneous income, you may be entitled to the trading allowance (also called the trading income allowance) of up to £1,000. This is in addition to any other tax allowances you are eligible for. Read about the trading allowance in more detail in our page What is the trading allowance? and trading allowance factsheet.

If you have income from property, including income from renting out a driveway or garage, for example, you may be entitled to the property allowance (also known as the property income allowance) of up to £1,000. This is in addition to any other tax allowances you are eligible for (but not rent-a-room relief). Read about the property allowance in more detail in our page How does the property allowance work?.

If you have some trading income and some property income you may be able to claim both allowances if you meet the criteria for each individual allowance.

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Where can I find more information?

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

  • There is more information, including examples, on the personal allowance in the tax basics section;
  • There is more information, including examples, on the marriage allowance in the tax basics section;
  • There is more information, including examples, on the BPA, in the tax basics section;
  • If you want more information including examples on the married couple's allowance (MCA) you can find this in the pensioners section;
  • 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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