If you’re a low-earner and your spouse (through Marriage or Civil partnership) is a basic rate tax payer, you can apply to transfer your unused personal tax allowance to them.
The higher earning person will receive a tax credit equivalent to the amount of personal allowance that has been transferred to them. The amount is deducted from the amount of tax they would usually have to pay.
The full amount that can be transferred is £1,185 and if you decide to transfer any allowance, you must use the full amount.
The low earning partner’s pay before tax must be less than the personal allowance - which in 2018/2019 is £11,850.
The threshold for basic rate taxpayers in 2018-19 for most of the UK is £11,850-£46,350, so the higher earning partner’s salary must fall between these boundaries.
In Scotland, the thresholds for basic tax rates are different, so the higher earning partner’s salary would have to be less than £43,430. Those claiming marriage allowance in Scotland can continue to do so at the current rate of 20%.
To apply for this tax for the allowance, the lower earner needs to apply to the HMRC to request the personal allowance to be transferred to their spouse.