HMRC urges couples to check if they could get £1,000 lump-sum payment – find out in 30 seconds

Couple look at finances on laptop

HMRC is encouraging couples to see if they could benefit from the marriage allowance

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 27/02/2024

- 10:53

Tens of thousands of couples applied for the tax relief last March

Couples who are married or in a civil partnership are being urged to check to see if they could qualify for a tax break which could be worth hundreds of pounds.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging couples to check if they could save money by sharing unused tax allowances.

Married couples and couples in a civil partnership may be able to benefit from the Marriage Allowance, which allows a low or non-earner to reduce the amount of tax their partner pays by transferring 10 per cent of their tax-free personal allowance to their spouse or civil partner if they are a basic rate taxpayer.

While it may increase the amount the lower earner is taxed, it can save couples money overall.

Couple look at finances on laptop and phone

Married couples and couples in a civil partnership may be able to benefit from the Marriage Allowance


It’s possible to backdate the claim for the previous four tax years, meaning eligible couples who apply before the end of the tax year could receive a lump sum payment worth more than £1,000.

This is on top of potentially reducing their tax bill for the 2023 to 2024 tax year by up to £252.

HMRC says people can find out in 30 seconds if they’re eligible via the online Marriage Allowance calculator.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary, said: “Marriage Allowance keeps money in your pocket by reducing the amount of tax you and your spouse pay by up to £252 a year.

“You can check your eligibility and apply on GOV.UK. Search ‘Marriage Allowance’ to find out more.”

Couples can currently backdate their claim to include any tax year since April 5, 2019.

The Marriage Allowance was worth up to £250 in 2019/20 and 2020/21, and has been worth up to £252 per financial year since 2021/22.

Couples in Scotland can benefit from Marriage Allowance if the partner with the higher income pays income tax at the starter, basic rate or intermediate rate – which typically means their income is between £12,571 and £43,662.

How to claim Marriage Allowance

Marriage Allowance can be applied for free online via the Government website.

Changes to the personal allowance will be backdated to the start of the tax year, which began on April 6, if the claim is successful.

It's also possible to apply through Self Assessment if a person is already registered and sends tax returns, or by filling in the Marriage Allowance form MATCF and sending it to the address on the form.

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