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What Martin Lewis Has Said About Marriage Tax Allowance

Martin Lewis Issues Warning for Married Couples

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Apr 04, 2024
6 minutes read
  • What Martin Lewis said about Marriage Tax Allowance
  • How Marriage Tax works
  • When and how to claim

Perhaps the most trusted man in Britain, Martin Lewis has urged married couples to make sure they’re not missing out on £1,258 in marriage tax. On air and through Twitter (X), Martin Lewis said Marriage Tax Allowance is easy to apply for and simple to check if you’re eligible. He is always trying to make sure that anyone who is entitled to money back actually takes steps to receive it.

This article will explain what Martin Lewis said about Marriage Tax Allowance. It will also detail how it works and how you can be eligible to claim it. As you can backdate the allowance, you could potentially receive up to £1,258 for something you could have been eligible for all these years. Find out why it’s useful to claim Marriage Tax Allowance from Martin Lewis’ perspective.

Want to start your claim already? Use our eligibility checker to see if you qualify. It only takes a minute.

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What Is the HMRC Marriage Tax Allowance?

Simply put, Marriage Tax Allowance is where you transfer £1,260 of your personal allowance to your spouse or civil partner. This is the amount you can earn tax-free a year. It works best if the one transferring their personal allowance isn’t a taxpayer as this decreases the amount their spouse pays in tax. Martin Lewis said Marriage Tax Allowance is being missed out on by around 2 million couples.

What Did Martin Lewis Say About Marriage Tax Allowance?

The warning issued by Martin Lewis was that a lot of people are missing out on Marriage Tax Allowance. It has the potential to save hundreds as yearly tax breaks, which more and more people could do with right now, especially with prices on the rise. Martin Lewis said Marriage Tax Allowance works best if one partner doesn’t pay tax and the other is a basic rate taxpayer (20%).

If you both pay income tax, Martin Lewis is certain Marriage Tax Allowance will not end up in your favour. One person is effectively increasing how much of their income they pay tax on while the other benefits from a decrease. This cancels the other out, so could make you worse off by paying more tax.

At the time of his announcement, Martin Lewis said Marriage Tax Allowance was time sensitive. This is because he urged couples to claim before the new tax year. The allowance works by reducing your yearly tax bill as a couple. This means that if you’re not making use of the allowance already, every tax year is money that you’re missing out on. The frequency you receive this is every year, but it will be automatically applied to your monthly payments.

How Does Marriage Tax Allowance Work?

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As explained by Martin Lewis himself, Marriage Tax Allowance works by transferring some of your personal allowance to your taxpaying partner. As long as you or your partner were born on or after 6th April 1935, you are able to apply for this to happen. The individual transferring part of their personal allowance should be earning under £12,750 a year, while their partner should be earning between £12,751 and £50,270.

Once applied for, this entitles a married couple to up to £252 for the current tax year. For Martin Lewis, Marriage Tax Allowance is a way for households to save essential funds. When backdating, you can receive different amounts for certain tax years. The amounts have gradually increased as the years have gone on. Since 2021, the maximum allowance has been £252. Previous allowances have been as follows:

  • 2023/2024 - £252

  • 2022/2023 - £252

  • 2021/2022 - £252

  • 2020/2021 - £250

This means that Marriage Tax Allowance, from Martin Lewis’ explanation, can give you up to £1,258 if you backdate it four years. You are only able to backdate the allowance for the years in which you qualify. This means you must be married or in a civil partnership to claim, even four years ago, otherwise you won’t be able to claim money for that year.


As explained by Martin Lewis, the Marriage Tax Allowance is only applicable for couples who are married or in a civil partnership. The complete criteria for being able to claim the allowance is the below:

  • You must be married or in a civil partnership

  • A lower earner doesn’t pay income tax or earns less than their personal allowance

  • The taxpaying partner pays the basic level of income tax (20%)

  • The two individuals were born on or after 6th April 1935

In the unfortunate event that a partner dies, the allowance will continue until the end of the financial tax year.

How Can I Maximise the Amount I Receive?

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Not mentioned by Martin Lewis, the Marriage Tax Allowance works out the most advantageous if the person applying for it has an income less than £11,310. Based on our knowledge, when you transfer your personal allowance to your partner, as their allowance increases, yours decreases. If you’re close to the £12,750 limit when you apply, you won’t benefit from applying for the Marriage Tax Allowance as you will both end up paying tax.

You can also maximise your claim to include any tax year since the 5th of April. This is always the cutoff point for any tax year.

How to Claim Marriage Tax Allowance

There are a couple of ways to claim the allowance. You can claim through the government website or use a claims management company. Martin Lewis said the Marriage Tax Allowance can be applied for through the HMRC website, which is the quickest way of doing it. You do need to set up an account for the Government Gateway in order to do this.

To go through the HMRC website, you need to confirm your identity with a passport, driving licence, payslip or various other documents. If you are unable to register this way, Martin Lewis says Marriage Tax Allowance can be applied for in writing to HMRC.

Alternatively, you are able to make use of a claims management company to process your Marriage Tax Allowance claim. They effectively work your application quickly and deal with all the paperwork so you don’t have to. This can work out for you if you don’t have the time to make a claim yourself or if the forms are too complicated. As they deal with HMRC on a regular basis, they know the process inside and out.

What Tips Has Martin Lewis Given About Marriage Tax Allowance?

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Previously, Martin Lewis has said Marriage Tax Allowance is worth up to £1,256. This is if you backdate the claim by four years and also claim for the current financial tax year. However, since this was explained, the backdated amounts have increased slightly. As the amounts you are entitled to are reviewed every year, sometimes they go up, which is why the total amount you can receive is now up to £1,258.

He has specified that millions of entitled couples are missing out on this amount, which is now even higher than when he explained it. Up to 2 million people could be better off with this allowance and they’re not making use of it, so Martin Lewis said Marriage Tax Allowance should be applied for.

On social media, Martin Lewis has said Marriage Tax Allowance can be applied for if you’re pensioners, a volunteer, on maternity or self-employed. As long as you are under 85 and don’t pay tax, you are able to transfer some of your personal allowance to your 20% taxpaying spouse.

Finally, as is the case every year, Martin Lewis says Marriage Tax Allowance should be claimed before the start of a new financial tax year. By delaying your application, you miss out on a whole year’s worth of tax savings, which is hundreds of pounds at a time. You can maximise how much you get by making sure you backdate for all of the years you’re eligible for Marriage Allowance.

If you or your partner were born before 6th April 1935, you qualify for the more generous Married Couple’s Allowance.

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