In April 2015, the government introduced the 'Marriage Tax Allowance' allowing married couples and civil partnerships to transfer some of their tax-free allowance to their partner as long as they meet the following criteria:
- Transferring partner earns less than the personal allowance amount in the tax year (Currently £11,000).
- Receiving partner is a basic rate taxpayer (so is not paying tax in a higher bracket than basic rate).
Eligible couples can apply at any point during the tax year, and can even backdate an application by up to four years. For 2017 this means a basic rate taxpayer can get a tax saving of up to £432. This is applied as a deduction to the amount of tax payable.
According to HMRC statistics, over four million people are eligible but only just over a million have so far applied. It is a quick and easy process with an online form set up at www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance so an easy way to boost finances right at the start of the new year.