Self Employed Marriage Allowance: A Complete Guide for UK Taxpayers

Are you self-employed and married? Did you know that you may be eligible for a tax break called the Marriage Allowance? In this article, we will take an in-depth look at what the Self Employed Marriage Allowance is, how it works, who qualifies, and how to claim it.

1. What is the Marriage Allowance?

The Marriage Allowance is a tax break that enables eligible married couples and civil partners to transfer a portion of their personal allowance (the amount of income you can earn tax-free each year) to their partner, reducing their partner’s tax bill.

2. How does the Marriage Allowance work for Self-Employed individuals?

For Self-Employed individuals, the Marriage Allowance works by reducing the tax payable on their profits. If your spouse or civil partner has unused personal allowances, they can transfer up to 10% of their unused allowance to you, as long as they are not using the full amount themselves. This can then be used to reduce your tax bill, resulting in a tax saving for both of you.

3. Who qualifies for the Marriage Allowance?

To qualify for the Marriage Allowance, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must be married or in a civil partnership.
  • One partner must be a basic rate taxpayer (earning less than £50,000 per year).
  • The other partner must be a non-taxpayer or earning below the personal allowance (£12,570 for the tax year 2021/22).
  • You both must have been born on or after April 6th, 1935.

4. How much can you claim through the Marriage Allowance?

The amount you can claim through the Marriage Allowance depends on the personal allowance rates and tax rates in each tax year. For the tax year 2021/22, the maximum amount that can be transferred is £1,260, which would result in a tax saving of £252 for the couple.

5. How to apply for the Marriage Allowance?

To apply for the Marriage Allowance, you can visit the government’s website and follow the step-by-step process. You will need both your and your spouse’s national insurance numbers and a form of identification, such as a passport or driving licence. Once you have applied, the tax code for the partner who is transferring their allowance will be updated, and the tax savings will be reflected in the Self-Employed individual’s tax bill.

6. What happens if your circumstances change during the tax year?

If your circumstances change during the tax year, for example, if your partner’s income increases above the personal allowance threshold, you will need to notify HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The transfer

of the Marriage Allowance will be stopped, and you will need to reapply if your circumstances change back to meeting the eligibility criteria.

7. What if you or your spouse/civil partner were born before April 6th, 1935?

If you or your spouse/civil partner were born before April 6th, 1935, you may be eligible for the Married Couple’s Allowance instead. This is a tax allowance that can be claimed on top of the personal allowance and can provide a higher tax break than the Marriage Allowance.

8. How long will it take to receive the Marriage Allowance tax refund?

If you are eligible for the Marriage Allowance and have applied for it, it can take up to two months for the tax code to be updated and the tax refund to be processed. You will receive a refund in the form of a cheque or a transfer to your bank account.

9. What if your application for Marriage Allowance is rejected?

If your application for the Marriage Allowance is rejected, you should contact HMRC to find out why. It could be due to not meeting the eligibility criteria or providing incorrect information on the application. You can appeal the decision if you believe it to be incorrect.

10. Are there any other tax breaks available for Self-Employed individuals who are married?

Apart from the Marriage Allowance and Married Couple’s Allowance, Self-Employed individuals who are married may also be eligible for other tax breaks, such as claiming expenses related to their business, including home office expenses, travel expenses, and equipment costs.

11. How to ensure you are paying the correct amount of tax as a Self-Employed individual?

As a Self-Employed individual, it is essential to keep accurate records of your income and expenses to ensure you are paying the correct amount of tax. You should also register for self-assessment with HMRC and file your tax returns on time. Hiring an accountant or using accounting software can also help you keep track of your finances and ensure you are paying the correct amount of tax.

12. Common misconceptions about the Marriage Allowance

One common misconception about the Marriage Allowance is that it is only available to couples who are both employed. However, it is also available to Self-Employed individuals who are married or in a civil partnership.

Another misconception is that the Marriage Allowance is automatically applied to your tax bill. However, you need to apply for it yourself.

13. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I claim the Marriage Allowance if I am not married? No, the Marriage Allowance is only available to married couples or civil partners.
  2. Can I claim the Marriage Allowance if I am in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership? Yes, same-sex marriages and civil partnerships are treated the same as opposite-sex marriages and civil partnerships.
  3. Can I claim the Marriage Allowance if my spouse or civil partner lives abroad? No, you cannot claim the Marriage Allowance if your spouse or civil partner lives abroad.
  4. Can I claim the Marriage Allowance if my spouse or civil partner is a higher rate taxpayer? No, the Marriage Allowance is only available to couples where one partner is a basic rate taxpayer and the other is a non-taxpayer or earning below the personal allowance.
  5. Can I claim the Marriage Allowance for previous tax years? Yes, you can backdate your claim for up to four tax years, as long as you met the eligibility criteria in those years.
  6. Can Self-Employed individuals claim the Marriage Allowance? Yes, Self-Employed individuals who are married or in a civil partnership can claim the Marriage Allowance if they meet the eligibility criteria.
  7. Can the Marriage Allowance be backdated? Yes, you can backdate your claim for up to four tax years if you met the eligibility criteria in those years.
  8. What if your spouse/civil partner is a higher rate taxpayer? You cannot claim the Marriage Allowance if your spouse/civil partner is a higher rate taxpayer.
  9. Can the Marriage Allowance be claimed if your spouse/civil partner lives abroad? No, the Marriage Allowance cannot be claimed if your spouse/civil partner lives abroad.
  10. Is the Married Couple’s Allowance available to Self-Employed individuals? Yes, the Married Couple’s Allowance is available to all married couples or civil partners who meet the eligibility criteria, regardless of their employment status.

14. Conclusion

The Marriage Allowance can be a valuable tax break for Self-Employed individuals who are married or in a civil partnership. It can reduce your tax bill and result in a tax saving for both

you and your spouse/civil partner. It is important to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and apply for the allowance if you are eligible.

In addition to the Marriage Allowance, Self-Employed individuals who are married may also be eligible for other tax breaks related to their business expenses. It is essential to keep accurate records and file tax returns on time to ensure you are paying the correct amount of tax.

If your application for the Marriage Allowance is rejected, you can appeal the decision or find out why it was rejected and reapply if you are still eligible.

Overall, the Marriage Allowance is a helpful tax break for Self-Employed individuals who are married or in a civil partnership, and it is worth considering if you meet the eligibility criteria.


Thank you for reading this article on the Self-Employed Marriage Allowance. We hope it has provided you with useful information and insights on how you can benefit from this tax break.

It is important to note that while the Marriage Allowance can provide some relief from tax, it should not be the sole factor in deciding whether to get married or enter into a civil partnership. Marriage and civil partnerships are important legal and personal decisions that should be made based on various factors, such as love, commitment, and shared values.

As a Self-Employed individual, it is essential to understand your tax obligations and take advantage of all available tax breaks and deductions. Keeping accurate records, filing tax returns on time, and seeking professional advice can help you stay on top of your tax affairs and minimize your tax bill.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Marriage Allowance or any other tax-related issues, you can contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or seek advice from a qualified accountant or tax professional.

We hope you have found this article informative and helpful in understanding the Self-Employed Marriage Allowance.

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