Maintenance Payments relief
Maintenance Payments relief can reduce your tax if you make maintenance
payments to your ex-spouse or former civil partner. It is an amount
that we take off your tax bill - so you can only claim it if you pay
On this page:
Who can get Maintenance Payments relief?
You can get Maintenance Payments relief if all of the following apply:
- you or your ex-spouse or former 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 (provided they aren't now remarried or in a new civil
partnership) or for your children who are under 21
How much Maintenance Payments relief might you get?
For the tax year 2013-14 Maintenance Payments relief can reduce your
tax bill by the lower of the following two amounts:
- ten per cent of £3,040 (£304.00) - this will apply where you make maintenance payments of £3,040 or more a year
- ten per cent of the amount you've actually paid - this will apply where you make maintenance payments of less than £3,040
You can't claim a tax reduction for any voluntary payments that you
make for a child, ex-spouse or former civil partner.
Maintenance Payments relief - worked example for
2013-14 tax year
You were born before 6 April 1938, divorced, have total income of £20,000 and pay your ex-spouse £1,200 maintenance a year (£100 per month):
- your total income is £20,000
- your tax-free allowance is £10,660 (higher Personal Allowance for people
born before 6 April 1938
- subtract your tax-free allowance (£10,660) from your total income
(£20,000) - that leaves you with taxable income of £9,340 and a
tax bill of £1,868 (20 per cent of £9,340) , But you can use
your Maintenance Payments relief to reduce your tax bill
- you make maintenance payments of £1,200 so are due tax relief of
£120 (10 per cent of £1,200)
- this amount is deducted from your tax bill
How to claim Maintenance Payments relief
To claim Maintenance Payments relief simply contact HMRC by following the first
If you have already claimed Maintenance Payments relief and you receive
a 'PAYE Coding Notice' this will tell you how much you are getting.
If you fill in a Self Assessment tax return you’ll have to include
details of your Maintenance Payments relief claim.
Understanding your PAYE Coding Notice
Do you need to complete a tax return?
If you receive maintenance payments
You do not pay tax on any maintenance payments that you receive.
More useful links
Do you have to pay tax in
Personal Allowance - learn more
Blind Person's Allowance