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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Tax relief for second earners

Increase in exemption threshold:

  • £5,000 (from 2017)
  • £4,500 (2016 and earlier)

If you're a married person or in a civil partnership and you're both in receipt of earned income, this increase in the exemption threshold is given against the second earners income.

If the second earner's income is less than this amount after any employment expenses the relief is reduced.

For example, salary is £6,000 but a one off payment of £5,000 has been made into a pension scheme. Second earner's relief would therefore only be £1,000.  

Earned income includes:
  • employment income
  • self-employment income
  • casual earnings
  • pension income in persons own right
  • invalid care allowance paid by social security

It does not include:

  • income from any unearned sources (e.g. bank accounts and investments)
  • income from shareholder taxation


Mr and Mrs Le Cornu are married and both working.

20% tax rate  Marginal relief
Mr Le Cornu's salary   £30,000  Income  £65,000 
Mrs Le Cornu's salary   £35,000 Less: exemption limit £23,350

Less: second earner's relief
(Mr Le Cornu is the second earner in this example)


​Total exemption threshold​£28,350
    £65,000  Excess =  £36,650 
Taxable income =    £65,000     
Tax payable £65,000 x 20% = £13,000 Tax payable £36,650 x 26% = £9,529
​Marginal relief is preferential using the married exemption threshold and second earner's relief therefore the 2017 tax bill will be £9,529.

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