HMRC has issued a reminder to millions of married couples to make sure they are claiming the £1,260 marriage allowance tax break
While more than 2.1 million couples claim marriage allowance, HMRC estimates that up to 2.4m couples are missing out because they do not realise they may be eligible, particularly couples where one partner has retired, has given up work to take on caring responsibilities, or is unable to work due to a long-term health condition.
All claims should be made on HMRC and do not use a third party provider as they will take a large cut of the allowance through commission fees.
Marriage allowance is worth up to £252 a year, equivalent to around 10% of an individual’s tax-free personal allowance. The maximum amount that can be transferred to their husband, wife or civil partner is dependent on the personal allowance for that tax year.
It is worth noting that claims can be backdated to April 2018.
Taxpayers earning less than £12,570 a year can transfer up to £1,260 of their personal allowance to their higher earning partner, to reduce the amount of tax they pay. They can backdate their claim to include any tax year up to 6 April 2018, which could be worth up to £1,242 in tax relief.
Trusha Shah, tax manager at HW Fisher said: ‘It might not be the most romantic reason to propose, but there are tax benefits to consider if you are getting married. Eligible married couples, or those in a civil partnership can reduce their tax by up to £252 via the marriage allowance.’
Couples can use the marriage allowance calculator on gov.uk to check if they are eligible for the tax break.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s deputy chief executive, said: ‘We want every eligible couple to benefit from marriage allowance tax relief. Couples whose circumstances have changed – perhaps one of them has stopped working or taken a lower paid job – may not realise they are entitled to claim.
‘It’s easy to find out what you may be due – search ‘marriage allowance calculator’ on gov.uk to get started. By applying on gov.uk, rather than through a third party, you get to keep 100% of the tax relief due.’
Couples could claim marriage allowance if the following criteria applies:
- married or in a civil partnership;
- do not pay income tax, or their income is below the personal allowance of £12,570;
- their partner pays income tax at the basic rate – which typically means their income is between £12,571 and £50,270.
Married allowance can be cancelled on gov.uk if a couple’s circumstances change.