The Chancellor announced that married couples and registered civil partners will be able to transfer £1,000 of the personal allowance of one spouse or partner to the other. This will be worth up to £200 in 2015-16 to eligible couples.
The transferable amount will be uprated to maintain it at the same proportion of the personal allowance.
Who will be affected?
It will benefit married couples and civil partners where one does not use their full personal allowance and the other is a basic rate taxpayer. Couples where either spouse or partner is a higher or additional rate tax payer will not be eligible.
This measure will come into effect from 2015-16.
Overall, couples who benefit will welcome the lowering of their joint tax bill. The transferor's personal allowance will be reduced by £1,000. The spouse or civil partner receiving the transferred allowance will be entitled to a reduced income tax liability of up to £200.
However, details of how the allowance will be transferred have yet to be explained. It would be regrettable if the relief led to either more taxpayers being required to complete tax returns, or an additional payroll burden for employers.