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Marriage Allowance and how to claim

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) introduced Marriage Allowance in April 2015.

Not to be confused with Married Couples Allowance, the new Marriage Allowance was an all-new income tax break designed for married couples and those in legally-recognised civil partnerships.

Here’s how it works

Marriage Allowance allows the lowest-earning spouse to transfer £1,250 of their unused Personal Allowance to the highest-earning spouse. This transfer will have the effect of reducing the highest-earning spouse’s income tax bill by approximately £250 per year.

To the extent that the couple meet the HMRC qualifying criteria, the claim for Marriage Allowance can be backdated for each tax year back to April 2015.

The Marriage Allowance tax break does not apply to every married couple or civil partnership – there are certain earnings thresholds which will need to be met if you are to qualify. the lowest-earning spouse will need to have an annual income which is less than the Personal Allowance and the highest-earning spouse will need to be a 20% (basic rate) taxpayer, earning less than the higher rate threshold.

Answer a few short questions to see if you could qualify

Make sure you aren’t missing out!

Marriage Allowance is an elective tax break, meaning that eligible couples will not automatically receive the benefit. 

Eligible couples need to manually register for Marriage Allowance in order to claim. If no registration takes place by the claim deadline, the couple’s entitlement to Marriage Allowance is simply written-off by HMRC, and the funds retained by HM Treasury.

The UK Government has been criticised in the past for failing to adequately publicise or raise the profile of the Marriage Allowance scheme. Indeed it is widely documented that some 1,000,000+ married couples are missing out.

You can claim Marriage Allowance directly from HMRC without incurring fees, however, registering your claim using the service will ensure that your claim is automatically backdated, and you will only incur fees in the event that your claim is successful. Details of our pricing can be found here

If you wish to obtain any advice or guidance, you will need to contact HMRC directly. HMRC can be contacted by telephone on 0300 200 3300.

HM Treasury’s decision to introduce Marriage Allowance follows a trend in policymaking towards raising the threshold at which low earners have to start paying tax. 

In addition to ongoing rises in the annual Personal Allowance, HM Treasury’s introduction of Marriage Allowance serves to extend the highest earning partner’s Personal Allowance by as much as £1,250 per year.

You can claim back as far as 2016 using the service.

The service facilitates backdated Marriage Allowance claims covering the four tax years commencing April 2016.

During the current (2020/21) Tax Year, if you qualify for Marriage Allowance, you can transfer £1,250 of your Personal Allowance to your partner using this service.

Applying with could not be simpler.

  1. Register your claims with online today
    Not every married couple or civil partnership couple is entitled to Marriage Allowance.You can apply for Marriage Allowance if you meet the HMRC qualification criteria. It is your responsibility to ensure that the HMRC qualification criteria are met.
  2. Complete & return the application form and deed of assignment
    Once you’ve registered your claim online, a paper form will be sent to you, ready for signing. When you receive the paper form, it will already be part-completed using the details you provided us at Online Registration. The completed form will trigger a request for HMRC to review your eligibility for Marriage Allowance. Once the forms have been signed where indicated, please return it to us using the postage-paid envelope. Once your tax refund has been reviewed by HMRC, if a payment is to be released, the funds will need to clear into our Client Account. This will generally take between 5-10 working days. Once cleared funds have been released, a cheque will follow without delay.


We never charge an upfront fee. Our fee of 35% (incl. VAT) of the total HMRC repayment is only payable in the event that a repayment is released. If there’s no refund, there’s no fee. Learn more.


Follow the link below to see whether you might be missing out on Marriage Allowance.

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Our UK-based call centre staff are trained to help you make an informed decision. Please note we are unable to provide any form of tax, financial or legal advice.

Call us today on 0116 350 0100

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