Being married is once again offering income tax breaks.  And for married couples I am including civil partners.

We are familiar with being able to move our assets to our spouses without incurring capital gains tax or inheritance tax (subject to the non-domiciled spouses rule).  And those of a certain age do still benefit from a married couples allowance.  Now, however it is possible for one partner to transfer a fixed amount of £1,060 of their personal allowance to their spouse.  The transferor will either be a non-earner or have income below their personal allowance.  The higher rate tax payers reading this blog will be rubbing their hands and anticipating a windfall of £424 but sadly this option is only available where neither spouse is in the higher rate or additional tax band.  This still gives a tax reduction for the basic rate transferee of £212 per year.

There is a catch though in so much that one partner must make the ‘election’ and the other the ‘claim’.  This could easily be overlooked if the taxpayer is not in the self-assessment system and the transfer of allowance won’t happen.  It is possible to register an interest at   www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance

For readers born before 6 April 1935 it will always be more beneficial to claim the married couples allowance and the new transferable allowance is not available to them.

For the not so committed the transferor and transferee have the option to withdraw their election/claim with effect from the tax year that their marriage or civil partnership comes to a legal end.