The Beatles sang about All You Need is Love, but in a week that includes Valentine’s Day, that love could come in the form of tax relief through Marriage Allowance.

This allows one partner, either in a marriage or civil partnership, to receive a tax gift from their other half.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is encouraging those eligible to claim Marriage Allowance. This allows them to share their personal tax allowances if one partner earns an income under their Personal Allowance threshold of £12,570, and the other is a basic rate taxpayer.

At a time when many households are struggling with rising inflation and increased cost of living, every little helps.

Eligible couples can transfer 10 per cent of their tax-free allowance to their partner, which is £1,260 in 2021/22 and cut their income tax by up to £252 a year.

The best part is that it can be backdated. Couples can apply any time, backdate their claims for any of the four previous tax years and receive a payment of up to £1,220 at a time when they need it most.

Those who have not applied before, may now do so, due to a change in circumstances which now makes them eligible to claim the benefit and include:

  • A recent marriage or civil partnership
  • One partner has retired and the other remains working
  • A reduction in working hours which means their earnings fall below the allowance
  • Unpaid leave or a career break, or
  • One partner is studying or in education and not earning above their allowance

The Government says that Marriage Allowance is one of the ways of helping couples to receive extra money back in their pocket each month. The financial support could help couples where they need it most, including household bills.

HMRC have published an example of how it works:

  • Your income is £11,500 and your Personal Allowance is £12,570, so you do not pay tax.
  • Your partner’s income is £20,000 and their allowance is £12,570, so they pay tax on £7,430 (their ‘taxable income’). This means as a couple you are paying Income Tax on £7,430.
  • When you claim Marriage Allowance you transfer £1,260 of your Personal Allowance to your partner. Your Personal Allowance becomes £11,310 and your partner gets a ‘tax credit’ on £1,260 of their taxable income.
  • This means you will now pay tax on £190, but your partner will only pay tax on £6,170. As a couple you benefit, as you are only paying Income Tax on £6,360 rather than £7,430, which saves you £214 in tax.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary, said:

“Couples could be sitting on a tax relief worth up to £1,220 that could provide vital financial support at a time they need it most. To find out if you are eligible and how to apply search ‘Marriage Allowance’ on GOV.UK.”

Visit GOV.UK to find out how to apply for Marriage Allowance.