There are a number of tax allowances that can be claimed if certain conditions apply, in some cases these can be transferred to your spouse or civil partner if you are unable to utilise the additional tax relief.
1. Increased personal allowance from age 65.
You will be eligible to apply for an additional personal tax allowance in the tax year in which you reach your 65th birthday. Whether you are successful in your claim will depend on your total income in that tax year. Currently the under 65 allowance is £8,105, if you are between 65 and 74 the increased allowance is £10,500 and 75 or over £10,660. The additional element will be reduced if your income exceeds £25,400. From 6 April 2013, increased allowances will be restricted to those born before 6 April 1948.
2. Married couple’s allowance.
This allowance is available if at least one spouse, or civil partner, was born before 6 April 1935. The allowance is made as a deduction from your tax bill so if you pay no tax it is of no value. However if your income is not high enough to absorb the additional tax relief you can transfer any balance to your spouse or civil partner. For the tax year 2012-13 the minimum benefit from this allowance will be £296 and the maximum, depending on the level of your income, £770.50.
3. Maintenance payments relief.
It is still possible to claim to reduce your tax bill for maintenance payments you make to your ex-spouse or former civil partner. The conditions are:
• You or your former spouse or civil partner was born before 6 April 1935.
• You’re separated or divorced or the civil partnership has dissolved and you’re making the payments under a court order.
• The payments are for the maintenance of your ex-spouse or former civil partner (as long as they haven’t remarried or formed a new civil partnership) or for your children who are under 21.
The amount of tax relief is the lesser of 10% of the qualifying payments or 10% of the basic married couples allowance. If you receive maintenance payments you will not pay tax on the amount received.
4. Blind person’s allowance.
Blind Person’s Allowance is added to your tax-free Personal Allowance. For 2012-13 the allowance is £2,100. There are no age related or income restrictions. You can claim it if either of the following applies:
• You’re certified blind and are on a local authority register of blind persons.
• You live in Scotland or Northern Ireland and are unable to perform any work for which eyesight is essential.
If you’re married or in a civil partnership and you don’t pay enough tax to use all the allowance, you can transfer any unused allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner. You can do this regardless of the state of their eyesight.