RNIB is working with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on a project to support blind and partially sighted people with tax and benefit issues. Our service is free and confidential.
We can explain the main tax allowances, benefits and concessions that you could be entitled to.
Tax issues we can help with include:
Visit our page to read about how the Marriage Allowance works.
If you are registered severely sight impaired (blind), or if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland and are unable to perform any work for which eyesight is essential, you can claim the Blind Person's Allowance.
The Blind Person's Allowance is added to your tax-free Personal Allowance and increases the amount of income you can have each year before you start paying tax.
The Blind Person's Allowance for the tax year 2016-17 is £2,290, regardless of your age or income.
You can transfer the Blind Person's Allowance, or the unused part of it, to your spouse or civil partner. This can be done whether or not they are blind. If both you and your spouse or civil partner qualify for Blind Person's Allowance you can claim an allowance each.
John is aged 65 and is registered severely sight impaired (blind). His Personal Allowance is £11,000 plus the Blind Person’s Allowance which means he has a tax-free allowance of £13,290. John receives a State Pension and a private pension of £12,000. As his pension income is less than £13,290 he pays no tax. John can transfer the unused £1290 of his Blind Person’s Allowance to his wife to reduce her tax bill.
Lines are open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on Saturdays. You will need to know your National Insurance number.
You can ask HMRC to backdate your claim for up to the previous four tax years if you were eligible then.
To read some examples of the difference our service has made to people with sight loss, visit our page on how we have helped.
Lynette, from RNIB's Tax Advice Service, recently spoke to Infosound about how our service helps blind and partially sighted people. She explained how we can help ensure people are getting the tax exemptions, allowances and other benefits they are entitled to.
Infosound produces free audio information on a range of topics that directly affect people with sight loss. To listen to more of their audio articles, visit their website.