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What is Form 18?

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Form 18 is a form used in the UK to transfer the Married Couple's Allowance (MCA) from one spouse to the other. The MCA is a tax allowance that can be claimed by married couples or those in a civil partnership. It can help to reduce your tax bill by up to £252 per year. If one spouse does not use all of their MCA, they can transfer up to 10% of the allowance to their partner, provided their partner is a basic rate taxpayer. This can result in a tax reduction of up to £252 per year for the couple. Form 18 can be used to alter the way in which the money you're entitled to for the Married Couple's allowance is divided among you and your civil partner or spouse.


HMRC Form 18, known in the UK for two distinct purposes, serves as a crucial document for both tenancy agreements and tax allowances. This form has a dual role, each serving a specific function depending on the context in which it is used.


Role in Tenancy Agreements

As a "Notice to Quit" form, HMRC Form 18 plays a pivotal role in tenancy or occupancy agreements for rental properties. It's a legal document that either a landlord or a tenant can use to indicate their intention to end a tenancy. The form outlines the terms and conditions under which the tenancy will come to an end​.


The form is typically employed when either party wishes to terminate a tenancy agreement. It specifies a notice period, allowing the recipient to prepare for the termination of the tenancy. Key details such as the names of the parties, the property address, the intended termination date, and specific terms or conditions associated with the termination are included in this form​.


Who is Eligible For the Marriage Allowance?

You have to meet the following criteria to be eligible for the marriage allowance:


  1. Both partners must be married or in a civil partnership with each other.

  2. One partner must be a non-taxpayer, which means they earn below the Personal Allowance threshold (£12,570 for the tax year 2023-2024).

  3. The other partner must be a basic rate taxpayer, meaning they earn between £12,571 and £50,270 for the tax year 2022-2023.

  4. Both partners must have been born on or after April 6, 1935.


The Marriage Allowance allows the non-taxpayer to transfer a portion of their Personal Allowance to their partner, reducing the partner's tax liability. This can result in tax savings for the couple.


What is Form 18?


Do I Have the Option of Transferring my Married Allowance?

In the event that you married, or entered into a civil partnership prior to 5 December 2005, the allowance for married couples will automatically be given to the husband.


However, if the marriage occurs it is received after the 5th of December 2005 and the MCA is awarded to the partner who has the highest income. Anyone who was married or joined the civil partnership prior to 5 December 2005 and who wants to opt for the new rules that apply to them must make contact with HMRC. You can, however, decide for transferring the minimal amount or to transfer excess allowances.


Variations in Notice Periods

The notice periods for Form 18 can vary, depending on the type of tenancy and the reason for termination. For instance, a landlord providing notice due to rent arrears might have a shorter notice period compared to a tenant providing notice for personal reasons.


During the notice period, both parties should be aware of their rights and responsibilities. This includes communication regarding property inspections and the return of the security deposit. In some cases, disputes may arise over the contents of Form 18, which may lead to negotiations, mediation, or legal proceedings​.


Legal Implications

Incorrect submission or failure to adhere to the required notice period can lead to legal complications and delays in terminating the tenancy. It's important for both parties to follow the guidelines and timelines set out in the form. While alternative notice forms or agreements may be used in certain situations, Form 18 is a standardized document that adds clarity and legal validity to the termination process​.



Are You Owing a Tax Rebate?

Many taxpayers who are qualified to claim the Married Couple's Allowance could also be eligible for tax credits in addition. This allowance was accessible from the 6th of April 2015, which means if you've been denied your allowance due to an earlier tax year, it's possible to make a backdate for the claim up to the most recent four tax years. There are a variety of tax reliefs that are available and many of them have their own personal tax forms. If you're seeking to claim back your Married Couple's allowance we'll include all the tax relief you're eligible to claim and maximize the amount of tax rebate you can claim.


The Married Couple's Allowance (MCA)

Form 18 is also integral in transferring the Married Couple's Allowance (MCA) from one spouse to another. This tax allowance, claimable by married couples or those in civil partnerships, can reduce a tax bill by up to £252 per year. If one spouse doesn't use their full MCA, they can transfer up to 10% of it to their partner, assuming the partner is a basic rate taxpayer.


More Information about Married Couples Allowance (MCA)

If you're unable to use the total amount you were granted at the time you submitted your application to the Married Couple's Allowance. If that's the situation, you may transfer it towards the end of the fiscal year. Imagine that one of the spouses/civil partners is liable for taxes. In this scenario, the other partner could swiftly transfer any Married Couple's Allowance, provided they don't pay any taxes or their tax burden isn't excessively high.


If you are required to transfer or share your Married Couple's Allowance make it happen before the end of the financial year or the start of the next financial year. The amount you are entitled to as the Married Couple's Allowance you receive can be divided or transferred to either your civil partner or spouse. Couples are able to divide the minimal Married Couple's Allowance among the two accounts or transfer the total sum from one to another account. When the new year starts, you need to fill out Form 18 and may request a copy from HMRC.


How Do I Claim Marriage Allowance in The UK?

To claim the Marriage Allowance in the UK, you need to follow these steps:


1. Check if you are eligible: You can claim Marriage Allowance if you are married or in a civil partnership, you do not pay income tax, or your income is below your Personal Allowance. Your partner must be a basic rate taxpayer, which means they earn between £12,571 and £50,270 per year.


2. Apply online: You can apply online through the government's website. You will need your National Insurance number and your partner's National Insurance number, along with proof of identity such as a passport or driving license.


3, Wait for a response: After you have applied, it can take up to two months for your application to be processed. You will receive a letter confirming whether your claim has been successful or not.


4. Receive your tax code: If your claim is successful, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will send you and your partner a new tax code. This tax code will allow your partner to receive the Marriage Allowance, which is transferred to them as a reduction in their tax bill.


It's worth noting that the Marriage Allowance can only be backdated for up to four years, so it's important to claim it as soon as possible if you think you are eligible.



When Should I Fill in an 18 Form?

If you are married, you have the option of passing PS1,100 of your Personal Allowance to your husband or spouse, or civil partner. This can reduce the amount of tax that your spouse pays by up to PS220 during the tax year. For couples to be eligible as a couple, you (as the person earning the least) must earn a salary that is less than PS11,000 while your partner's earnings must be in the range of PS11,001 to PS43,000 to qualify. You may also be able to receive a transfer of the Married Couple's allowance If you or your spouse are in the process of receiving a pension or living abroad.


How Do We Submit Form 18?

To submit Form 18, follow these steps:


  1. Download the Form: Form 18 is available to download from the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website.

  2. Complete the Form: You will need to provide your personal details, including your name, address, and National Insurance number, and your spouse's details, including their name, address, and National Insurance number. You will also need to provide details of your income and tax liabilities.

  3. Submit the Form: Once you have completed the form, you can submit it to HMRC by post or online through your personal tax account on the government's website.


It's worth noting that you can only claim the MCA if you or your partner were born before 6 April 1935. If you were born on or after 6 April 1935, you may be eligible for the Marriage Allowance instead.


Detailed Procedures for Using HMRC Form 18


Filling Out Form 18 for Tenancy Termination

Form 18 serves as a "Notice to Quit" in the context of tenancy agreements. Its completion involves including crucial details such as the names of the parties involved, the address of the rental property, the intended termination date, and any specific terms or conditions linked to the termination.


Notice Periods in Form 18

The notice periods specified in Form 18 vary depending on the tenancy type and the reason for termination. For example, a landlord may have a shorter notice period if terminating due to rent arrears, compared to a tenant who is ending the tenancy for personal reasons.


Implications of Submitting Form 18

Submitting Form 18 officially initiates the process of ending a tenancy agreement. During the notice period, both parties have responsibilities and rights, including addressing issues like property inspections and the return of security deposits.


Contested Form 18

In some scenarios, the recipient of Form 18 may contest its contents, especially if they believe the notice is unfair or violates tenancy laws. Such disputes can be resolved through negotiation, mediation, or, if necessary, legal proceedings.


Incorrect Submission

If Form 18 is not submitted correctly or within the required notice period, it can lead to legal complications and delays in terminating the tenancy. Therefore, adhering to the form’s guidelines and timelines is crucial for both parties.


Alternatives to Form 18

While Form 18 is the standardized document for terminating tenancies, in certain situations, alternative notice forms or agreements might be used. Nonetheless, Form 18 provides clarity and legal validity to the termination process.


Tax Implications

Though primarily related to tenancy agreements, Form 18 also indirectly impacts tax obligations associated with rental income and property ownership. It's important for landlords and tenants to manage their tax affairs appropriately during the termination process.


Post-Submission Process

After submitting Form 18 and the expiration of the notice period, parties involved should coordinate vacating the property, conducting inspections, and resolving any outstanding issues, such as repairs or cleaning.


Seeking Professional Advice

Professional advice from legal experts or property management professionals is recommended when dealing with complex tenancy termination issues or property management.



How to Complete Form 18 - A Step by Step Guide


Following is a step-by-step guide to fill Form 18:


Section A - Transfer of Minimum Amount of the Allowance


Question: We jointly elect that the minimum amount of the married couple’s allowance is given to [Enter name].

  • Answer Option: Enter the name of the husband (for marriages before 5 December 2005) or the spouse or civil partner with the higher income (for marriages or civil partnerships on or after 5 December 2005).

  • Suggested Answer: Enter the applicable name as per the above criteria.

Question: This election is to operate from 6 April [Enter year].

  • Answer Option: Enter the year from which the election should operate.

  • Suggested Answer: Enter the relevant tax year.

Sections for Signatures and Dates:

  • Husband's Signature and Date: (for marriages before 5 December 2005)

  • Wife's Signature and Date: (for marriages before 5 December 2005)


Section B - Claim Half of the Minimum Amount of the Allowance


Question: The minimum amount of the married couple’s allowance is currently being claimed by [my husband/my wife]. I elect that one half of the minimum amount of the married couple’s allowance be given to me from 6 April [Enter year].

  • Answer Options: Choose who is currently claiming the allowance and elect to receive half.

  • Suggested Answer: Tick the appropriate box and enter the year.

Signature and Date:

  • Sign and date the form to validate the election.


Section C - Transfer All of the Minimum Amount of the Allowance (For Marriages/Civil Partnerships After 5 December 2005)


Question: We jointly elect that the minimum amount of the married couple’s allowance be given to [Enter name]. This election is to operate from 6 April [Enter year].

  • Answer Option: Enter the name of the spouse or civil partner to whom the allowance should be given and the year.

  • Suggested Answer: Enter the applicable name and year.

Sections for Signatures and Dates:

  • Spouse or Civil Partner with Higher Income's Signature and Date

  • Spouse or Civil Partner with Lower Income's Signature and Date


Section D - Claim Half of the Minimum Amount of the Allowance


Question: The minimum amount of the married couple’s allowance is currently being claimed by [Spouse or civil partner with the higher income/Lower income]. I elect that one half of the minimum amount of the married couple’s allowance be given to me from 6 April [Enter year].

  • Answer Options: Choose who is currently claiming the allowance and elect to receive half.

  • Suggested Answer: Tick the appropriate box and enter the year.

Signature and Date:

  • Sign and date the form to confirm the election.


Section E - Personal Details


Questions and Information Required:

  1. Full Name: Enter the full name of the husband (for marriages before 5 December 2005) or the spouse or civil partner with the higher income (for marriages or civil partnerships on or after 5 December 2005).

  2. Address: Provide the current address.

  3. Postcode: Include the postcode for the address.

  4. Date: Enter the current date.

Tax Reference and National Insurance Number:

  • Provide the tax reference and National Insurance number for both the husband (or higher income spouse/civil partner) and the wife (or lower income spouse/civil partner).


Notes Section


This section provides additional information and guidelines regarding the Married Couple's Allowance, the effect of elections, time limits for making an election, and the procedure for withdrawing an election. It is important to read this section thoroughly to understand the implications of the choices made on the form.


Section F - Certification


This section is for the certification of the information provided in the form. It requires the signatures of both the husband (or the higher income spouse/civil partner) and the wife (or the lower income spouse/civil partner) to confirm that the details are accurate and true to the best of their knowledge.

Question: Certification that the information is correct.

  • Answer Option: Both parties must sign and date the form.

  • Suggested Answer: Signatures of both parties with the current date.


Section G - Additional Information (If Applicable)


In this section, additional information relevant to the Married Couple's Allowance claim can be provided. This could include details of any changes in circumstances that might affect the claim, such as changes in income or marital status.

Question: Provide any additional information that may be relevant to the claim.

  • Answer Option: Write any additional details or explanations as needed.

  • Suggested Answer: Provide clear and concise information relevant to the claim.


Section H - Declaration and Agreement


This section is a declaration and agreement by the parties to abide by the terms and conditions associated with the Married Couple's Allowance.

Question: Declaration that the parties agree to the terms and conditions.

  • Answer Option: Acknowledge and agree to the terms.

  • Suggested Answer: Signatures of both parties, acknowledging their agreement.


Section I - Contact Information


This section requires the contact information of the parties involved, including phone numbers and email addresses, to facilitate communication regarding the claim.

Question: Provide contact details for further communication.

  • Answer Option: Enter phone numbers and email addresses.

  • Suggested Answer: Provide current and accurate contact information for both parties.


Section J - Submission Instructions


The final section provides instructions on how to submit Form 18. It includes the address to which the completed form should be sent and any additional documentation that may be required.

Information Provided:

  • Address for submission.

  • Details on any additional documents needed.

  • Instructions on online submission if available.


Helpful Tips


  • Double-check all the entered information for accuracy.

  • Ensure that both parties have signed and dated the form where required.

  • Keep a copy of the completed form for personal records.

  • Submit the form before the deadline to avoid any delays or issues with the claim.

By following these steps and filling out each section of Form 18 accurately, claimants can ensure a smooth process in transferring or claiming the Married Couple's Allowance, optimizing their tax benefits effectively.


How a Tax Accountant Can Help You With HMRC Form 18


How a Tax Accountant Can Help You With HMRC Form 18

Navigating the intricacies of tax forms and regulations can be a daunting task for many individuals. HMRC Form 18, used in the UK for various purposes including the transfer of the Married Couple's Allowance (MCA) and tenancy terminations, is one such form that requires careful attention to detail. This is where a tax accountant can be invaluable. A tax accountant is not just a professional who helps with filing taxes; they are advisors who can guide you through complex tax situations, ensure compliance with tax laws, and help maximize financial benefits.


Expert Guidance on Eligibility and Requirements

A tax accountant can first help you understand whether you are eligible for the benefits associated with Form 18. For instance, in the context of the MCA, they can determine if you and your partner meet the criteria, such as one being a non-taxpayer and the other a basic rate taxpayer. Their expertise is invaluable in interpreting these requirements, which can often seem convoluted to the untrained eye.


Accurate and Efficient Form Completion

The completion of Form 18 involves providing detailed personal and financial information. A tax accountant ensures that all sections of the form are filled out correctly, minimizing the chances of errors that could lead to delays or rejections of your application. They can assist in accurately declaring incomes, understanding the implications of different options in the form, and ensuring that all relevant details are included.


Tax Planning and Advice

When it comes to tax planning, a tax accountant can provide advice tailored to your specific financial situation. For couples looking to transfer the MCA, an accountant can analyze both partners' incomes and tax liabilities to determine the most beneficial way to allocate the allowance. This foresight can lead to significant tax savings over time.


Handling Complex Situations

In more complex scenarios, such as those involving joint properties or varied income sources, a tax accountant's role becomes even more crucial. They can navigate the nuances of tax laws and provide advice on how to manage these complexities in relation to Form 18. For instance, they can offer guidance on how rental income or property ownership might affect your tax obligations when terminating a tenancy.


Representation and Liaison with HMRC

Dealing with HMRC can be intimidating for many. A tax accountant can act as your representative, handling communications with HMRC on your behalf. This includes submitting Form 18, responding to inquiries, and addressing any issues that might arise during the process. Their experience in dealing with HMRC can ensure a smoother, more efficient handling of your tax matters.


Keeping Up with Legislation Changes

Tax laws and allowances are subject to change, and keeping up-to-date with these changes is vital. A tax accountant stays abreast of the latest tax legislation and can advise you on how these changes affect your Form 18 submissions. This knowledge is crucial for ensuring ongoing compliance and for making informed decisions.


Mitigating Risks and Avoiding Penalties

Incorrectly completed forms or failure to meet the tax regulations can result in penalties or legal issues. A tax accountant helps mitigate these risks by ensuring that all aspects of Form 18 are in line with current tax laws. They can also advise on the implications of late submissions or errors, helping to avoid potential penalties.


Time-Saving and Stress-Reduction

Completing and submitting tax forms can be time-consuming and stressful. By outsourcing this task to a tax accountant, you save time and reduce the stress associated with navigating complex tax forms and regulations. This allows you to focus on other important aspects of your life or business.


Personalized Service

Finally, a tax accountant provides a personalized service, tailored to your individual needs and circumstances. They take the time to understand your financial situation and offer customized advice, ensuring that you make the most out of the provisions available through Form 18.


In conclusion, a tax accountant plays a critical role in helping individuals and couples in the UK navigate HMRC Form 18. Their expertise and guidance can lead to better financial outcomes, compliance with tax laws, and peace of mind. Whether it's maximizing tax benefits, handling complex scenarios, or liaising with HMRC, the support of a knowledgeable tax accountant is invaluable.



20 Most Important FAQs about the Form 18


  1. Q: Can Form 18 be used for purposes other than the Married Couple's Allowance (MCA) and tenancy terminations? A: Form 18 is specifically designed for the MCA and tenancy terminations. For other purposes, different forms are applicable.

  2. Q: Is there a deadline for submitting Form 18 for MCA purposes? A: Yes, it should be submitted before the end of the tax year for which you're claiming the allowance.

  3. Q: Can Form 18 be filled out and submitted electronically? A: Yes, Form 18 can be completed and submitted online through your personal tax account.

  4. Q: Are there any penalties for late submission of Form 18? A: Late submission might affect the timely processing of your claim but typically does not incur penalties.

  5. Q: How long does it take to process Form 18? A: The processing time can vary, but it generally takes several weeks.

  6. Q: Can Form 18 affect other tax credits and allowances? A: Yes, it can impact other tax credits and allowances, so it's important to consider the overall tax situation.

  7. Q: Is professional assistance required to complete Form 18? A: While not mandatory, professional assistance can ensure accuracy and compliance.

  8. Q: Can I change the allocation of MCA after submitting Form 18? A: Yes, but it requires submitting a revised Form 18 and may depend on HMRC's approval.

  9. Q: How does Form 18 impact self-assessment tax returns? A: It can affect the calculations of taxable income and tax owed in self-assessment.

  10. Q: Can unmarried partners use Form 18 for tax allowances? A: No, Form 18 is only applicable to married couples and civil partners.

  11. Q: Is there a way to backdate claims made through Form 18? A: Yes, in some cases, you can backdate claims for up to four tax years.

  12. Q: Does Form 18 need to be submitted annually? A: Yes, if you wish to continue transferring the allowance each year.

  13. Q: Can non-UK residents use Form 18 for MCA? A: Non-residents can use Form 18 if they meet certain criteria, such as having income taxable in the UK.

  14. Q: What happens if there are errors in the submitted Form 18? A: Errors can lead to delays or incorrect processing. It’s advisable to correct and resubmit the form.

  15. Q: Are there specific guidelines for filling out the tenancy termination part of Form 18? A: Yes, specific guidelines include providing accurate details of the tenancy and adhering to legal requirements.

  16. Q: Can Form 18 be used for temporary tenancy terminations? A: No, it is typically used for permanent termination of tenancies.

  17. Q: What should be done if the other party in a tenancy agreement disagrees with the Form 18 notice? A: Seek legal advice or consider mediation to resolve the dispute.

  18. Q: How does Form 18 interact with joint tenancies? A: In joint tenancies, all tenants should be made aware of the termination notice.

  19. Q: Can Form 18 be used to terminate a lease early? A: It depends on the lease terms and mutual agreement between the parties involved.

  20. Q: What are the consequences of not using Form 18 for MCA or tenancy termination when required? A: Failure to use Form 18 correctly can lead to financial implications or legal disputes.




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