HMRC reminder to claim the marriage allowance
The marriage allowance came into force on 6 April 2015 and allows lower earning couples to share part of their personal tax-free allowance. HMRC has announced that some 1.3 million couples have applied for the tax break since it was introduced. However, this figure is low when compared to the estimated 4.2m married and civil partner couples who are eligible for the tax break
As we start the New Year, HMRC is reminding couples that they could benefit from up to an extra £432 if they make a claim. The marriage allowance is available to married couples and those in a civil partnership where a spouse or civil partner doesn’t pay tax or doesn’t pay tax above the basic rate threshold for income tax.
The allowance allows the lower earning partner to transfer up to £1,100 (2015-16: £1,060) of their personal tax-free allowance to a spouse or civil partner. The marriage allowance can only be used when the recipient of the transfer doesn’t pay more than the basic 20% rate of income tax.
Couples that have not yet claimed the allowance can backdate their claim to 6 April 2015 and claim back up to a further £212. This could result in a saving of up to £432 for 2015-16 and 2016-17. An application for the marriage allowance can be made online or by telephone. The application must be made by the non-taxpayer who is transferring their allowance. To benefit as a couple, the non-taxpayer needs to earn less than their partner and have an income of £11,000 or less. Couples have up to four years to claim backdated annual allowances.
Ruth Owen, Director General, Personal Tax, HMRC said:
‘An extra £432 is a really helpful way to start 2017, especially after Christmas. If you want to get your finances in order this year, it only takes a few minutes to check if you can get the Marriage Allowance tax break atwww.gov.uk/marriage-allowance.’