Age-related and other tax allowances

As you get older there are certain age-related allowances that can reduce your tax. Some are amounts of income that you don't have to pay tax on while others are amounts that reduce your tax bill. There is also a Blind Person's Allowance.

On this page:

Increased Personal Allowance from age 65

Nearly everyone who lives in the UK gets a 'Personal Allowance' that lets them have some tax-free income each year. If you get a Personal Allowance this may increase in the tax year of your 65th birthday, depending on your taxable income.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will automatically send you a form P161 Age-related Personal Allowance claim form the month before you reach age 65. It's important to return this form so that HMRC can work out how much tax you need to pay.

You won't automatically get this form if you're self-employed, nearing age 65 and don't pay any tax via the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system. Your entitlement to age-related Personal Allowance will be calculated when you complete and return your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year in which you become 65.

HMRC might not know your age unless you've previously told them but if you're within a month of reaching age 65 and haven't received one please download the form below or contact HMRC to ask them for a form. If you download the form send it to the address found in the second link below.

Go to form P161 Age-related Personal Allowance

Contact HMRC - Income Tax enquiries for individuals, pensioners and employees

Personal Allowance


Married Couple's Allowance (includes civil partnerships)

You can claim Married Couple's Allowance if you're married or in a civil partnership and at least one spouse or civil partner was born before 6 April 1935.

It's an amount that is taken off your tax bill - so you can only claim it if you pay tax. However, if your income isn't high enough to benefit from the allowance you can transfer the surplus to your spouse or civil partner.

To find out more about Married Couple's Allowance read the guide below in the Income Tax section of the website.

Married Couple's Allowance and how to claim


Maintenance payments relief

You can get an allowance to reduce your tax bill for maintenance payments you make to your ex-spouse or former civil partner if:

  • you or your spouse or civil partner were 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

Read more about Maintenance Payments Relief in the Income Tax section of the website.

More about Maintenance Payments Relief and how to claim


Blind Person's Allowance

Blind Person's Allowance is added to your tax-free Personal Allowance - so is an extra amount of income you can get each year without paying tax. 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, if they pay tax.

More about Blind Person's Allowance in the Income Tax section


More useful links

Do you have to pay tax in retirement?

Tax allowances for pensioners on the Low Incomes Tax Reform group website (Opens new window)

Learn more about civil partnerships on the Home Office website (Opens new window)