Married Doctors, Are You Taking Advantage Of Your Tax Allowances? 

The current government is keen to support married couples and civil partners and there are several tax breaks available to married couples.  These are:

Marriage allowance

Introduced in April 2015, this means that where one spouse or civil partner is a basic rate taxpayer and the other either doesn’t work or earns less that £10,600, the non-worker can transfer 10% of their personal allowance to the worker.  Using the marriage allowance would save £212 in income tax.


ISAs are transferable between spouses and civil partners on death.  This means that the survivor can continue to save or invest the money tax-free, and is particularly valuable if the deceased had built up a considerable amount in ISAs.

Capital gains

Married couples and civil partners can transfer assets to each other without capital gains tax becoming payable.  This means that if one partner wants to sell an asset at a profit that will exceed their capital gains tax allowance, they could transfer part of the asset to their partner or spouse first (e.g. some of the shares if the asset is a shareholding) to use the partner’s/spouse’s allowance as well as their own.

Inheritance tax

The biggest tax advantage to being married comes in the event of death.  There is no inheritance tax to pay when assets are passed between spouses or civil partners.  Furthermore the nil rate band for inheritance tax, which is £325,000 for individuals, can be inherited by the surviving spouse.  When the second spouse/civil partner dies, they will have their own £325,000 allowance plus whatever was remaining of the first spouse’s/partner’s nil rate band, allowing for up to £650,000 in total to be passed on inheritance tax-free.


When a married person or person in a civil partnership dies, their spouse/partner is first in line to inherit under intestacy rules.  However, these rules may not suit an individual’s circumstances if for example there are other friends and relatives to provide for so it is still important to make sure an up to date Will is in place. 

Unfortunately there is no such thing as a common-law spouse so couples who are not legally married or in civil partnerships do not benefit from the tax advantages listed above.  In particular unmarried couples should be mindful that in the event of death the surviving partner would not receive anything at all under the rules of intestacy.  Any assets, unless held jointly, would pass to surviving children, siblings or parents instead.

If you wish to discuss your personal tax planning please contact Richard Higgs on 0117 966 5699 or


More News
Can doctors trust the rising market? Monday, July 23, 2018
Quote Mark
  • "We have been very impressed with the personal service, attention to detail and comprehensive evaluation of our financial circumstances. We would certainly appreciate ongoing help and support from Richard over the future." Jason Kendall (Consultant in Accident and Emergency), Southmead Hospital
  • "Richard provides a very convenient and personal service. Richard has good knowledge and has the ability to go through reasoning for any recommendations." Tim Mitchell (GP), Montpelier Health Centre
  • "Richard provides an excellent service, prompt and flexible. Although the level of technical knowledge is impressive, answers to our questions are presented in a straightforward manner, without overwhelming us with information." Mary Gainsborough (Consultant in Paediatrics), Southmead Hospital
  • "Richard gives me an excellent personal service in my own home. His advice and explanations have been excellent. Richard also has excellent technical knowledge – who wouldn’t be happy?" Charles Record (GP), Frome Valley Medical Centre
  • "Richard provides an excellent, personal service. He responds very quickly and attentively to queries and very much keeps me up to date with important matters that affect me - such as the latest changes to pensions, investments and taxation. Recommendations are delivered in a timely, effective manner - usually face to face in my own home." Professor Gianni Angelini (Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery), BRI
  • "It is very convenient for me to be seen at home and Richard is very flexible with timings - especially when unexpected things crop up at the hospital. Meetings are friendly and relaxed with my long-term best interests very much at the heart of discussions." Professor Gianni Angelini (Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery), BRI
  • "We have found it far more reassuring having a local adviser rather than a national firm. We have found the service excellent and Richard answers all the questions we want answering. Richard's technical knowledge is excellent, he has detailed knowledge of pensions." Paul Male and Helen Lewis (GPs), Thornbury Health Centre
  • "The personal touch counts for a lot and the willingness to visit us at home is much appreciated. Richard provides an excellent, friendly, accessible service, not encumbered by jargon or salesmanship." Professor Peter Mathieson (Honorary Professor of Medicine), University of Bristol
  • "I can recommend Richard as providing measured, balanced independent financial advice. He listens very carefully and tailors advice appropriately in a knowledge-based manner. He is very accessible and gives his clients time and clarity in order to make the most sensible decisions for themselves based on the available facts." Andrew Medford (Consultant in Respiratory Medicine), Southmead Hospital
  • "Richard now knows me and understands my financial position. I have complete trust in his advice. The level of service I have experienced is second to none. We have received regular reviews in our own home, speedy and thorough advice to any queries." John Rees (General Practitioner, Specialist in Urology ), Blackwell and Nailsea Medical Group
  • "The advice I have received has dramatically altered my personal protection policies for the better and reduced my personal tax liability." John Rees (General Practitioner, Specialist in Urology ), Blackwell and Nailsea Medical Group
  • "I appreciate Richard's local knowledge and the fact that he is in contact with a lot of local general practitioners which is useful for networking. He is also very knowledgeable about the different pension schemes and their pros and cons." Fiona Hayes (General Practitioner) Bristol University Student Services
  • "I have enjoyed the process of dealing with a local advisor and it has not felt like a box ticking exercise. The service has been excellent. The great flexibility to come to my home at a time suitable to my working day has set this company apart from others I have dealt with in the past. The technical knowledge provided has been expertly tailored to my requirements and financial situation. The manner in which it has been delivered has also been first rate. " Beth Harrison (General Practitioner) Montpellier Health Centre
  • "We have regular meetings with the same adviser who knows our profile and keeps our requirements in mind with the plans he makes. The reviews are simple to organise and are always at a convenient time and location." Mike Bould (Orthopaedic Surgeon) Western General Hospital
  • "The service I have received from Wealth West is excellent! they are more personable and accessible than large firms and are not pushy at all. They also have a very good breadth and depth of knowledge." Billy and Annie Headdon (Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Trainee, General Practitioner) Montpelier Health Centre
  • "My experience of the service has been excellent. I have been able to ask many questions and have received excellent advice on my financial situation. The technical knowledge of Wealth West Medical is excellent. Anyone who can help my investments grow in the current environment clearly knows what they are doing. I would highly recommend Richard and Wealth West Medical." Linda Buczek (General Practice Manager) Bishopston Medical Practice
  • "The technical knowledge of Wealth West Medical is very good. Richard keeps up to date with the changes to the NHS pension scheme and new legislation." Melanie Lockett (Consultant) Southmead Hospital
  • "Wealth West Medical offers a friendly, helpful and efficient service. Richard keeps in touch at regular intervals and has a very good knowledge of pensions and investments." Rachel Brown (General Practitioner) Montpelier Health Centre
  • "Richard comes to my house for meetings and it is nice to see a familiar face. He remembers my details, and advises over the long term. Richard has a detailed understanding of my particular pension plan and has explained this very clearly to me. He has also helped me to manage tax payments for annual allowance and pension protection." Hugh Herzig (Consultant Psychiatrist) Southmead Hospital
  • .