Accountants Chester – Tax Tip No. 52

The marriage allowance is not a separate allowance as such – rather, it is a transfer of part of one spouse or civil partner’s personal allowance to their spouse or civil partner. It should not be confused with the married couple’s allowance which is available where at least one spouse or civil partner was born before 6 April 1935.

The marriage allowance allows one spouse or civil partner to transfer 10% of their personal allowance (as rounded to the nearest £10) to their spouse or civil partner. However, the transfer is not permitted if the recipient pays tax at the higher or additional rate. For 2023/24 the personal allowance is £12,570 and the marriage allowance is £1,260.

Claiming the marriage allowance is beneficial if one spouse or civil partner is unable to use their personal allowance in full, and the other pays tax at the basic rate. Utilising the allowance can save a couple up to £252 in tax in 2023/24 (£1,260 @ 20%).

The only permitted transfer is £1,260 – it is not possible to transfer more of the personal allowance where this is unused or less if the amount unused is less than £1,260. However, if the unused personal allowance is less than £1,260 and making the transfer would mean that overall, the couple would pay less tax, it would be beneficial (although it may mean that some tax is now payable by the transferor).

Where the marriage allowance is claimed, the personal allowance of the spouse or civil partner making the transfer is reduced by £1,260 to £11,310, whereas the recipient’s personal allowance is increased to £13,830.

Older couples benefiting from the married couple’s allowance cannot also claim the marriage allowance.

Making a claim

A claim can be made online by visiting the website at The claim can be made for the current tax year and also for 2019/20 and any later tax year for which the couple were eligible to make the claim. Once a claim has been made, it will apply for subsequent tax years until the claim is cancelled. This too can be done online.

Claims for the allowance can also be made through Self Assessment or by completing the marriage allowance form MATCF (see and sending it to the address on the form.

Example 1

Alex and Anna are married. Alex earns £30,000 a year. Anna looks after their young daughter and has no income in 2023/24.

The couple claim the marriage allowance. As a result, Alex’s personal allowance is increased by £1,260, reducing the tax that he pays by £252.

Example 2

Jake and John are in a civil partnership. Jake works part-time while studying and earns £12,000 in 2023/24. John has income of £40,000 in 2023/24.

Jake is only able to use £12,000 of his personal allowance, leaving £570 unused. Although he cannot tailor the marriage allowance to transfer this to John, a claim is still worthwhile.

Making the claim will reduce Jake’s personal allowance by £1,260 to £11,310. As a result, he will now have to pay a small amount of tax as his income exceeds his reduced personal allowance by £690, generating a tax liability of £138 (£690 @ 20%).

However, John’s personal allowance will increase by £1,260, reducing the tax that he pays by £252.

Overall, despite the fact that Jake must now pay some tax, the couple’s combined tax bill is reduced by £114 (£252 − £138) as a result of claiming the allowance.

For more information, call or WhatsApp on +44(1244) 220-062 . Return to Tax Blog home.

Simplifying tax and accounting for Chester businesses – check out our FAQs for quick answers.

HMRC doesn't automatically refund Marriage Allowance. Here's the breakdown:

  • Eligibility: One partner must earn below the Personal Allowance (£12,570 for 2023/24), and the other partner must be a basic rate taxpayer.
  • Current Year Claims: If you're eligible, your tax codes will usually be adjusted automatically, reducing the amount of tax you pay through the year.
  • Backdated Claims: You can claim back Marriage Allowance for up to 4 previous tax years. HMRC will issue a refund cheque for any overpaid tax.

How to Claim

Important Note: Marriage Allowance is a valuable benefit for eligible couples. If you think you might qualify, it's worth checking and applying.

Marriage Allowance Accountants Chester

While the standard Personal Allowance applies to married couples, there are tax breaks specifically for married couples and civil partners in the UK. These might be relevant to you:

  • Marriage Allowance: If you have an income below the Personal Allowance (£12,570 for 2023/24), you can transfer up to £1,260 to your spouse/partner, potentially reducing their tax bill.
  • Married Couple's Allowance: This is a more substantial tax break available if one of you was born before April 6th, 1935. It can reduce your tax bill by up to £941.50 for the 2023/24 tax year.

Important: Eligibility and the amount of tax savings depend on your individual circumstances. Accountants Chester can give you the most accurate advice tailored to your specific situation.

For current information and to find out if you qualify, visit the official government website:

Marriage Allowance Accountants Chester

It could be! Marriage Allowance benefits many couples, but the specifics depend on your situation. Here's why it's worth discussing with Accountants Chester:

  • Understanding eligibility: Marriage Allowance has specific rules about income levels and being married or in a civil partnership. Accountants Chester can clarify if you qualify.
  • Maximising the benefit: The potential tax savings depend on both your incomes. A local accountant understands the nuances and can calculate the exact amount you might save.
  • Weighing any trade-offs: In some cases, claiming Marriage Allowance could slightly increase tax liability for the partner with lower income. Accountants Chester will help you assess if the overall benefit to the couple outweighs this.

Remember: Even if you've never used an accountant before, it can be worth a consultation in this case – the potential savings could easily offset the cost.

Marriage Allowance Accountants Chester

HMRC typically takes around 4-6 weeks to process Marriage Allowance refunds. This timeframe can fluctuate depending on the time of year and the complexity of your tax situation.

While Accountants Chester cannot directly speed up the HMRC's process, they can:

  • Ensure you're eligible for Marriage Allowance.
  • Help you file your claim correctly to avoid delays.
  • Advise on whether backdated claims are worthwhile in your situation.

Important Note: Marriage Allowance refunds can be backdated for up to four previous tax years.

For further information, you can visit the official HMRC website:

Marriage Allowance Accountants Chester

Yes, you may be able to claim Marriage Allowance if your partner doesn't work. Here's why:

  • Marriage Allowance: This UK tax break lets you transfer 10% of your unused personal tax allowance to your spouse or civil partner, reducing their tax bill.
  • Eligibility: To qualify, one partner must earn below the personal allowance (£12,570 for the tax year 2023/24), and the other partner must be a basic rate taxpayer (earning between £12,571 and £50,270).

Important considerations:

  • Backdating: You can backdate claims up to 4 tax years, potentially leading to a refund.
  • Scottish Taxpayers: The higher earner's income in Scotland must fall between £12,571 and £43,662 to be eligible.
  • Self-Assessment: Those who pay tax through Self-Assessment need to factor in Marriage Allowance differently.

It's wise to consult Accountant Chester for personalised advice. They can determine your eligibility and ensure you maximise the potential benefits of Marriage Allowance.

Marriage Allowance Accountants Chester

Can I claim Marriage Allowance if my husband has died?

  • Generally, no. Marriage Allowance is designed for married couples or those in civil partnerships.

  • Possible Exception: If your husband died after April 5th, 2019, you might be able to claim Marriage Allowance for the tax year in which he passed away. It's possible to backdate claims for up to 4 years in certain circumstances.

Important Steps

  1. Contact HMRC: The Income Tax helpline at HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) is the best source for accurate information based on your specific situation. They will determine your eligibility.
  2. Gather Information: Be prepared to provide dates (marriage, death) and your and your husband's income details for relevant tax years.

Additional Notes:

  • You can find more information on the official government website:
  • Consider seeking guidance from Accountants Chester or tax advisor Chester to help navigate any complexities related to your situation.

Marriage Allowance Accountants Chester

HMRC doesn't directly issue refunds specifically for being married. However, there are tax benefits for married couples and those in civil partnerships:

  • Marriage Allowance: If one partner earns below the Personal Allowance (£12,570 in 2023/24) and the other is a basic-rate taxpayer, the lower earner can transfer up to £1,260 of their allowance. This reduces the higher earner's tax bill by up to £252 in the tax year. You can backdate claims for up to 4 previous years. (

  • Married Couple's Allowance: This is a separate, older relief for couples where one partner was born before April 6th, 1935. It offers a slightly higher tax reduction. (

How to find out more:

  • Use the HMRC website for information on eligibility and how to claim.
  • Accountants Chester can provide personalised advice on these allowances and any other tax benefits that may apply to your specific situation.

Important Note: Tax rules change, so always check the latest HMRC guidance for the current tax year.

Marriage Allowance Accountants Chester

Marriage Allowance lets you transfer £1,260 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife, or civil partner if they earn less than you. Here's how to claim:

  • Online is easiest: Visit the GOV.UK website ( You'll need your National Insurance numbers and some proof of identity.
  • Other options:
    • Through Self Assessment: Fill in the Marriage Allowance section of your tax return.
    • Paper Form: Request the MATCF form from HMRC and mail it in.

Need help? Consider Accountants Chester

Accountants Chester can help you determine if you're eligible for Marriage Allowance and assist with the application process. They can also offer wider tax planning advice to maximise your financial benefits as a couple.

Important Notes:

  • You must be married or in a civil partnership.
  • Your income needs to be below £12,570.
  • Your partner's income must be between £12,571 and £50,270 (£43,662 in Scotland).
  • You can backdate claims to any tax year since April 5th, 2019.

Marriage Allowance Accountants Chester

While Accountants Chester can't directly impact benefits related to marriage, they can help you understand these UK tax advantages:

  • Marriage Allowance: Transferring unused personal allowance to reduce your spouse's tax bill.
  • Inheritance Tax Planning: Married couples/civil partners have greater allowances for passing assets tax-free.
  • Capital Gains Tax: Potential benefits when transferring assets between spouses.

Marriage Allowance Accountants Chester

Married couples don't automatically pay less tax in the UK, but there are a few tax breaks that might apply:

  • Marriage Allowance: If one spouse earns below the Personal Allowance (£12,570) and the other pays income tax at the basic rate, you can transfer up to £1,260 of the unused allowance. This reduces tax by up to £252 a year.
  • Married Couple's Allowance: This older benefit is designed for couples where at least one partner was born before 6th April 1935. It offers a slightly larger tax reduction.

Why use Accountants Chester?

A local accountant can help you understand if you're eligible for these benefits and can ensure you're maximising other tax-saving opportunities. They provide personalised advice based on your unique financial situation.

Do you need help finding reputable Accountant Chester? There are helpful resources like online directories or recommendations from professional bodies, such as ACCA.

Important Note: Tax laws can change. Always check the latest information on the GOV.UK website: or consult Accountants Chester for the most up-to-date guidance.

Marriage Allowance Accountants Chester

Accountants Chester: Boost Your Business with Expert Support!

Get a FREE Consultation & Tailored Accounting Solutions

Call/WhatsApp: +44(1244) 220-062


The information contained in this blog is for general guidance only. It does not constitute professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. Always seek tailored advice from a qualified accountant regarding your specific circumstances.