UK marriage allowance

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Introduction 

This guide examines the UK marriage allowance and how it works. As a contractor running a company, the marriage allowance (UK) is a tax allowance available to couples meeting qualifying criteria. Indeed, the married couple’s allowance 23/24 and 24/25 is where one transfers part of their personal tax allowance to their partner. However, how much is the marriage allowance transfer for 2023/24 and 2024/25, and what is the 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. This guide will research how to transfer marriage allowance (HMRC) and the process involved when making an HMRC marriage allowance transfer claim.

Most importantly, the UK HMRC marriage allowance isn’t available to all. The transferable marriage allowance depends on both your 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 the wife’s tax allowance to the husband; or
  • Transferring husband’s tax allowance to wife.

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

Initial thoughts 

How does the UK marriage allowance tax transfer work?

If we investigate marriage tax allowance (UK) and how it works for UK contractors and other individuals, the UK personal allowance in 2023/24 and 2024/25 is currently £12,570 per annum. Therefore, you can earn this amount every tax year before you pay tax. Indeed, you can claim the UK marriage allowance if one partner is not working. In addition, you can claim if they have income but aren’t a high earner.

If you fall into the category whereby you can 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 as 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, you can earn your income before tax is applied.

Have you ever wondered if you could claim the married couple tax allowance? In other words, have you considered applying for the UK marriage allowance transfer 2024/25? On the other hand, have you never been aware 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 marriage tax relief.

The process of transferring tax allowance to spouse effectively moves part of your partner’s tax allowance to you. Moreover, the transfer personal allowance claim applies to marriages and civil partnerships.

Other thoughts when you transfer the UK marriage allowance 

How much does the transfer tax allowance to your spouse (UK) save?

When you claim the married allowance in 2023/24 or 2024/25, 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 significant, it may be worth making use of this for some couples.

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

You might also save money via your Self Assessment tax return if you’ve invested in an Enterprise Investment Scheme during the tax year.

Missing out on UK marriage allowance

Many people miss out on the marriage allowance claim. This is simply due to a lack of awareness of the transferable tax allowance option. Your limited company contractor accountant can help check if transferring 10% of your tax allowance to your 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 move part of your allowance to your spouse or civil partner. 

What is the process when transferring your personal allowance to your spouse? 

Transferring tax allowance to spouse

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

In 2023/24 and 2024/25, the PA is currently £12,570. Therefore, when you’re the lower-earning partner, you can transfer £1,260 of your personal allowance to your partner. This will result in additional tax relief. In turn, the higher-earning spouse receives the allowance, which 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 the 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 can claim the ‘married couple’s allowance’ instead.
  • One partner must have a 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 must 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 2023/24 and 2024/25.

If you claim for the married couples tax allowance, the lower income earner can move 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 their total income. 

How to claim marriage allowance

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

What is the marriage allowance contact number?

You can apply for 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 allowance phone number, you’ll require your and your partner’s National Insurance number. In addition, when you make the transfer online, you must provide proof of ID when you apply. This ID includes your passport, payslip details, and tax credits. In addition, you can 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 a 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. The code will 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 will increase by £1,260. HMRC will update the change to the start of the current tax year.

Furthermore, you can 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 should be the option to apply for HMRC marriage allowance here.

Do you need to backdate your claim for the UK marriage allowance?

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 passes, more couples realise they can claim this. Regarding backdating your claim, the good news is you can do this for up to four years. Therefore, for 2024, it’s possible to backdate your claim for all years back to 2019/20, where the entitlement conditions are met. If you do this, the savings will be £1,000. 

Final thoughts

Many couples overlook to claim for the tax allowance transfer to their 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 your spouse isn’t significant, it’s worth claiming for the married couple’s allowance if you qualify. Please remember, to be eligible for the UK marriage allowance transfer 2024/25, one partner must pay tax at the basic rate whilst the other must 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 should contact HMRC to arrange this.

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

Link to Contractor Advice UK group on

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Published On: April 6th, 2024 / Categories: Member Only Articles, Self-Assessment, Tax Saving Guides /

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