What Is Additional Personal Allowance?

In the United Kingdom, additional personal allowance (APA) was an extra deduction as set forth by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on income tax returns which could be claimed by single, separated or widowed individuals who were not eligible to receive the married couple allowance and who were financially supporting a child under the age of 16. Parents were also able to claim the benefit if their child was over 16 and involved in education full-time or an apprenticeship for at least two years.

The APA was abolished in April 2000. Since that time, everyone has been subject to the same personal allowance, regardless of marital status, gender, and whether they had children or not.

The standard personal allowance in the U.K. for the tax year 2018-2019 is £11,850. For income under that amount, no income tax needs to be paid. The amount of income tax paid in each tax year depends on how much earnings are above the personal allowance and how much of a person's income falls within the various tax bands.

Key Takeaways

  • In the United Kingdom, additional personal allowance (APA) was an extra deduction as set forth by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on income tax returns.
  • The standard personal allowance in the U.K. for the tax year 2018-2019 is £11,850.
  • The APA provided tax relief to those who qualified.

How Additional Personal Allowance Worked

The allowance also permitted men to claim the additional allowance if an incapacitated wife is living in the household and there is a qualifying child under the age of 16 living with them, provided the wife is incapacitated throughout the year.

The APA provided tax relief to those who qualified. A qualifying child is a child of the claimant or a child that is supported and cared for by the claimant. Only one allowance is paid, regardless of the number of children cared for by the person claiming the additional allowance.

Real World Example

As an example, in 1998, a widow named Olivia with a 12-year old child living in the U.K. was able to claim an allowance beyond the standard personal allowance even though she was no longer married following the passing of her husband two years prior. This additional allowance helped Olivia pay less in income taxes for the year.