If you are married or in a civil partnership, you may qualify for the marriage allowance. This is not an extra allowance, but a transfer of 10% of your personal allowance to your spouse. This amounts to £1,150, equivalent to a maximum tax reduction of £230 for 2017/18.
To qualify for the marriage allowance, neither of you must pay tax at a rate higher than 20%. This extra allowance is useful if you don’t have enough income to use all your personal allowance, and your partner is paying tax or if you are paying tax at 7.5% on dividends but your partner pays tax at 20% on earnings.
The person who wishes to transfer 10% of their allowance must make an application on their tax return, or online through the gov.uk website, or by calling HMRC. The recipient of the marriage allowance can’t make a claim, they have to wait for HMRC to reallocate the extra allowance. Once an online claim for the marriage allowance has been put in place for one year, it should apply for all later years, until you tell HMRC to stop. If either of you were born before 6 April 1935 you may be better off claiming the married persons allowance, which is worth up to £845 for 2017/18.
For more information, please contact you local GMcG advisor in Belfast (028 9031 1113), Lisburn (028 9260 7355) or Portadown (028 3833 2801).