The Marriage Allowance can enable eligible married couples and civil partners to save up to £252 of tax a year. Despite being introduced almost seven years ago, many eligible couples are still missing out on this tax break. As payments can only be backdated up to four tax years, after 5 April 2022 it will not be possible to claim the Marriage Allowance for 2017/18.

The relief is designed to benefit couples where one spouse has insufficient income to make full use of their tax-free personal allowance (£12,570 for 2021/22). Where the couple meet the qualifying conditions, the spouse with the unused personal allowance can elect to transfer £1,260 of the allowance to their partner, offering a tax saving of up to £252 for 2021/22.

It is also currently possible to backdate the claim to 5 April 2017, to obtain an additional tax saving of up to £968. Please note that the deadline for claiming the Marriage Allowance for 2017/18 is 6 April 2022 so time is running out to claim it.

The transfer can only be made if the spouse who receives the transferred allowance is a basic rate taxpayer, meaning that for 2021/22 they would normally need to have an income of no more than £50,270 (or £43,662 if you are in Scotland).

For more information on how to apply for the Marriage Allowance go to or get in touch with us.

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Craig Walker

Tax Director, Sheffield