If you are married or in a civil partnership, and born on or after 6 April 1935 you can now apply for the new marriage allowance. This is not an extra amount of tax free allowance, but a transfer of £1,060 of unused personal allowance from one spouse or civil partner to the other. It will save the couple tax of £212 for 2015/16.
The marriage allowance can only be claimed where one person has unused personal allowance and the other partner/spouse is taxed at no more than 20%. The transferred allowance is treated as belonging to the recipient for the whole of the tax year for which it is claimed.
The claim for the marriage allowance must be done online through the GOV.UK website, by the person who is surrendering part of their allowance. If the taxpayer can’t use the online service HMRC is supposed to provide additional support.
Once the marriage allowance is claimed, the couples’ PAYE codes will be altered to reflect the change in allowances with the following suffix letters used in the place of L:
- M – for the person who receives the extra allowance
- N – for the person who has surrendered £1,060 of their personal allowance
The existing married couple’s allowance (worth up to £835.50) continues to apply for couples who were born before 6 April 1935.