Tax relief: Some people can get hundreds back from HMRC – how to check if you’re affected

There’s a number of different forms of Income Tax relief, and this can mean that a taxpayer is able to keep more of their income, rather than it being paid to HMRC. Among them is the Marriage Allowance.


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This is something which people who are married or in a civil partnership may be able to claim.

By claiming this form of relief, it may be that the individual reduces their partner’s tax.

This is because the Marriage Allowance lets the claimant transfer £1,250 of their Personal Allowance – which is usually £12,500 – to their spouse or civil partner.

It then reduces their tax by up to £250 in the tax year – something which spans from April 6 to April 5 in the following year.

While it won’t apply to everyone, some couples may see the total amount they pay in Income Tax reduce.

That said, claiming the Marriage Allowance won’t be of benefit everyone.

The government website highlights this, stating: “To benefit as a couple, you (as the lower earner) must normally have an income below your Personal Allowance – this is usually £12,500.”

While some may opt to crunch the numbers themselves, it’s possible to calculate how much tax may be saved as a couple online.

This can be done, for instance, via the “Marriage Allowance calculator” which is on the GOV.UK website.

“When you transfer some of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner you might have to pay more tax yourself, but you could still pay less as a couple,” the government warns.

It’s also possible to backdate a Marriage Allowance claim.

This can be done to include any tax year since April 5, 2016 that the person was eligible for Marriage Allowance.


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In 2019/20 and 2020/21 tax years, the total amounts for each year are worth up to £250.

In the year prior – 2018/19, the maximum amount was £238.

It was £230 in the tax year 2017/18.

Meanwhile, in 2016/17, the Marriage Allowance was worth up to £220.

How to apply for Marriage Allowance

It is possible to apply for Marriage Allowance online.

If neither person in the couple has no income other than wages, then it’s the person who earns that least who should make the claim, GOV.UK guidance states.

If an application is successful, then the changes to the Personal Allowance will be backdated to the start of the tax year – meaning April 6.

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