UK marriage allowance

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Introduction 

This guide looks at the UK marriage allowance and how this works. Basically, as a contractor running your own company, the marriage allowance (UK) is a tax allowance and is available to couples, if they meet qualifying criteria. Indeed, the married couple’s allowance 23/24 is where one transfers part of their personal tax allowance to their partner. However, how much is marriage allowance transfer 2023/24 and what is marriage allowance transfer worth? When we consider this for UK contracting professionals, it allows one person to elect to make a transfer of personal allowance (UK) to their partner. Therefore, when transferring tax allowance to spouse (UK), the UK tax allowance transfer to spouse is between husband and wife or civil partners and is worth £1,260 per annum. In this guide, we’ll research how to transfer marriage allowance (HMRC) and the process involved when making a HMRC marriage allowance transfer claim.

Most importantly, the UK HMRC marriage tax allowance isn’t available to all. Basically, the transferable marriage allowance depends on both you and your partner’s income. Some owners of their own UK contractor limited company may be able to take advantage of the married allowance transfer. However, for many the married couple allowance (UK) won’t be an option for contracting and other professionals, due to their circumstances. If your personal allowance transfer is an option, you’ll be either:

  • Transferring wife’s tax allowance to husband; or
  • Transferring husband’s tax allowance to wife.

Therefore, let’s take the time to look at how to transfer spouse tax allowance (UK). In addition, let’s investigate what other considerations there are when you claim marriage tax allowance.

Initial thoughts 

How the marriage allowance UK tax transfer works

If we investigate what is marriage tax allowance (UK) and how it works for UK contractors and other individuals, the UK personal allowance in 2022/23 and 2023/24 is currently £12,570 per annum. Therefore, you can earn this amount every tax year before you pay tax. Certainly, you can make a claim for UK marriage tax allowance if one partner is not working. In addition, you can make a married tax allowance transfer if they have income but aren’t a high earner.

If you fall into the category whereby you may be able to claim the HMRC marriage allowance (UK), you should do a marriage allowance check towards the end of each tax year (5 April). Our guide on the UK tax year contains all the important tax year dates to remember a s a UK contractor. 

Tax year -6 April to 5 April

The UK tax year isn’t the same as the calendar year. It runs from 6 April to 5 April each tax year. During the UK tax year is when you can earn your income before tax is applied.

Have you ever wondered if you can claim for the married couple tax allowance? In other words, have you considered if you should apply for the UK marriage allowance transfer 2023/24? On the other hand, have you never been aware that this method of tax transfer between spouses exists, or who can claim this allowance? Indeed, many limited company contractors may miss this. Therefore, it’s worth checking if you can claim for marriage tax relief.

The process of transferring tax allowance to spouse is effectively the transfer of part of your partner’s tax allowance being transferred to you. What’s more, the transfer personal allowance claim applies to both marriages and civil partnerships.

Common questions on the UK marriage allowance

There are many questions out there regarding the transfer of marriage allowance (HMRC). In addition, there’s more on how to make a HMRC marriage allowance claim (UK). Therefore, these include:

  • Who can claim marriage allowance?
  • What is the marriage allowance (UK)?
  • How to apply for marriage allowance?
  • Can I transfer part of my tax allowance to my wife?
  • How does marriage tax allowance work?
  • How much tax allowance can you transfer?
  • Can you transfer unused tax allowance to my spouse?
  • How do I transfer part of my tax allowance?
  • How to transfer personal allowance to spouse?
  • When can you apply for the married tax allowance?
  • Can you transfer personal allowance to spouse?
  • How much is the married couples tax allowance worth?
  • How does the UK marriage allowance transfer work?
  • What is the process when applying for the married tax allowance?
  • How to transfer marriage allowance back?

We’ll cover all the above regarding claiming marriage allowance in this guide. We’ll also explain how to claim for your unused personal allowance if this applies. When you’re transferring tax allowance to spouse online or via a phone call, it’s a relatively straightforward process.

Other considerations when you transfer marriage allowance 

How much can you save when you transfer tax allowance to spouse (UK)

When you claim the married allowance in 2022/23, the transfer of the married couples tax allowance is worth approximately £250 a year as a tax-free saving on the higher earner’s tax bill. Although the married tax allowance (UK) isn’t a significant amount, it may be worth transferring tax allowance to spouse in the case of some couples.

Two separate guides on this website which explain how your personal tax position can be affected in the UK are:

You might also make a saving via your Self Assessment tax return if you have invested in an Enterprise Investment Scheme during the tax year.

Missing out on the UK marriage allowance

It’s a common fact that many people miss out on the marriage tax allowance claim. This is simply due to a lack of awareness on the transferable tax allowance option. Your limited company contractor accountant can help check if transferring 10% of tax allowance to spouse is available and beneficial.

In previous times, the HMRC marriage allowance (UK) was brought in by the Coalition Government. Today, both married couples and civil partners can claim the married couple allowance. Therefore, if, as a couple, you’re eligible, you can make a tax saving. When you apply for marriage allowance, you can transfer part of your allowance to your spouse or civil partner. 

The process of transferring personal allowance to spouse 

Transferring tax allowance to spouse

The marriage tax allowance transfer will allow one partner to transfer part of their Personal Allowance (PA) to the other partner. If you’re the lower earner, you can transfer 10% of your personal allowance to your partner. Therefore, to reiterate, the transfer of the married person allowance is 10% of the lower-earner partner’s PA to the higher-earner.

In 2022/23 and 2023/24, the PA is £12,570. Therefore, when you’re the lower-earning partner, you can transfer £1,260 of your personal allowance to your partner. This’ll result in additional tax relief. In turn, the higher-earning spouse receives the allowance transfer, and it reduces their tax by £1,260.

The entitlement to claim spouse tax allowance transfer (UK) will depend on the income of both people in the marriage or civil partnership. 

When do you qualify for the UK marriage allowance transfer?

To be eligible for marriage tax allowance transfer, you must satisfy the following criteria:

  • You’re married or in a civil partnership.
  • You were both born after 5 April 1935. If one or both individuals were born before this date, you’d need to claim for the ‘married couple’s allowance’ instead.
  • One partner will have total taxable income below the personal allowance of £12,570. Your total taxable income includes any salaries or self-employment profits. It also includes dividends, other taxable income, job seekers allowance, Universal Credit and state pension. The second partner will be a basic rate taxpayer earning more than the personal allowance and be paying income tax at the basic tax rate. However, they’ll not be in the higher rates tax bracket, which is income above £50,270 in 2022/23 and 2023/24.

If you claim for the married couples tax allowance, the lower income earner can transfer precisely 10% of the prevailing PA for the tax year in question.

It may be the case that the lower income earner does have some taxable income. This could be in the form of salary or some other income. When this is the case, the amount of personal allowance transfer may be less than the 10% mentioned above depending on what their total income is. 

How to claim marriage allowance (UK)

If you’re considering making a claim, when can you apply for marriage allowance (HMRC)e or when is the best time to do so? The UK tax year starts on 6 April; if you qualify, the best time to put a claim in for the transfer of tax allowance to spouse is soon after this date. Basically, the partner who makes the allowance transfer must apply for the marriage tax allowance via their HMRC Government Gateway account. Therefore, when you make a claim for the UK married tax allowance, you can ask HMRC to transfer the 10% of your allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner.

Marriage tax allowance contact number

You can apply for the transfer of the marriage allowance (UK) online via the HMRC website or by calling the marriage allowance phone number. When you apply for marriage allowance online or by calling the marriage tax allowance phone number, you’ll need your and your partner’s National Insurance number. In addition, when you transfer marriage allowance online, you’ll also need proof of ID when you apply. This ID includes your passport, payslip details, and tax credits. In addition, you can also call HMRC on their Income Tax Helpline (General Enquiries) / marriage allowance contact number on 0300 200 3300.

There is also now a marriage allowance claim form which you can use to make the claim for the allowance. This is the link to download the HMRC marriage allowance form.

If HMRC accepts your marriage allowance application, they’ll issue updated tax codes. These’ll show the allowance transfer from one partner to the other. First, the tax code for the partner who transfers the allowance will decrease by £1,260. Second, the tax code for the partner who receives the allowance transfer will increase by £1,260. HMRC will also update the change to the start of the current tax year.

Furthermore, you can also apply for this via the Self Assessment service in your HMRC account. What’s more, if you or your accountant file your Self Assessment tax return via specialist software, there may also be the option to apply for HMRC marriage allowance through here.

UK marriage allowance -backdating your claim

The married allowance in the UK came into effect on 6 April 2015. Many couples aren’t aware they can claim this. However, as time goes by, more couples realise that they can make a claim for this. Regarding backdating your claim, the good news is that you can do this for up to four years. Therefore, for in 2024 it is possible backdate your claim for all years back to 2019/20, where the entitlement conditions are met. 

Final thoughts

Many couples overlook to put a claim in for the UK marriage tax allowance transfer to spouse. Many more don’t even check if the married couples tax allowance (UK) is available. What’s more, many don’t check if it’s worthwhile to claim for the HMRC marriage allowance. Indeed, although the transfer allowance to spouse isn’t a significant amount, it’s worth claiming for the married couple’s allowance if you qualify. Please remember, to be eligible for the UK marriage allowance transfer 2023/24, one partner must pay tax at the basic rate whilst the other will have income under the personal tax allowance and, therefore, an unused personal allowance. The person making the married couples allowance transfer to their husband, wife or civil partner will need to contact HMRC to arrange the transfer.

If you’re still unsure how to go about transferring tax allowance to spouse (UK) after reading the above, please take the time to speak to your accountant regarding the UK transfer tax allowance to spouse.

Link to Contractor Advice UK group on

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Published On: January 4th, 2024 / Categories: Member Only Articles, Self-Assessment, Tax Saving Guides /

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