If you are entitled to the marriage allowance and have not yet applied, then you could receive a well-timed Christmas bonus of up to £1,150 from HMRC. The marriage allowance is available to qualifying married couples and those in a civil partnership where a spouse or civil partner is a non-taxpayer i.e. has an income below their personal allowance (currently £12,500).
The marriage allowance allows the lower earning partner to transfer up to £1,250 of their personal tax-free allowance to their spouse or civil partner. The marriage allowance can only be used when the recipient of the transfer (the higher earning partner) doesn’t pay more than the basic 20% rate of Income Tax. This would usually mean that their income is between £12,500 to £50,000 in 2019-20. The limits are slightly different if you live in Scotland.
If you meet the eligibility requirements and have not yet claimed the allowance, then you can backdate your claim to 6 April 2015. This could result in a total tax break of up to £1,150 for 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 as well as the 2019-20 tax year.
An application for the marriage allowance can be made online or by telephone. The application must be made by the non-taxpayer who is transferring their allowance.