What tax-free personal allowances can I claim?

HM Revenue and Customs gives us all 'allowances', which are deducted from our earnings before tax is calculated. Tax is only due on the balance.

The personal allowance for tax year 2017/18 is £11,500. This means that the first £11,500 of your taxable income is tax-free.

In general, you receive the personal allowance if you are resident in the UK or if you are a citizen of a European Economic Area (EEA) country (EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland. The level of the personal allowance is usually announced each year by the Chancellor as part of the autumn Budget.

These changes then take effect from the following 6 April. There are other tax-free allowances which can be claimed depending on your circumstances, such as Blind Person's Allowance, for example. See the GOV.UK website for more information on other allowances you may be eligible to claim for.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

What is WorkSmart?

A career coach that works for everyone.


Enjoy bite-sized activities delivered to you every week.

Lightbulb brain

Equip yourself with essential skills to be the best you yet.


Get the guidance you need to stay focused and reach your goals.

Worksmart circle