Marriage Allowance

How it works

Marriage Allowance lets you transfer £1,100 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner - if they earn more than you.

This reduces their tax by up to £220 in the tax year (6 April to 5 April the next year).

To benefit as a couple, you (as the lower earner) must have an income of £11,000 or less.

If you were eligible for Marriage Allowance in the 2015 to 2016 tax year, you can backdate your claim to 6 April 2015 and reduce the tax paid by up to £432.

Who can apply?

You can get Marriage Allowance if all the following apply:

  • you’re married or in a civil partnership
  • you don’t earn anything or your income is under £11,000
  • your partner’s income is between £11,001 and £43,000

You can still apply for Marriage Allowance if you or your partner:

If you or your partner were born before 6 April 1935, you might benefit more as a couple by applying for Married Couple’s Allowance instead.


 How to apply

You can apply for Marriage Allowance online.

If your application is successful, changes to your Personal Allowances will be backdated to the start of the tax year (6 April).

How your Personal Allowances change

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will give your partner their extra allowance either:

  • by changing their tax code, usually to 1166M - this can take up to 2 months
  • when they send their Self Assessment tax return, if they’re self-employed

Your tax code will also change if you’re employed or get a pension. Your new code will reflect your new Personal Allowance and will end with ‘N’.

When Marriage Allowance stops

Your Personal Allowance will transfer automatically to your partner every year until one of you cancels Marriage Allowance or your circumstances change, eg because of divorce or death.


Want to make sure you are claiming all the allowances that you can? Here at Donoghue & Co. Ltd we will make sure you are getting the correct advice and claiming all you can.


Give us a call on 01324 411809, or email for more details and to arrange a meeting.