HMRC is encouraging those who are either married or in a civil partnership to check whether they could be up to £252 a year better off by claiming Marriage Allowance. It has launched a Marriage Allowance Calculator to help those who are unsure double check what they might be due.

Couples could be eligible where one partner is working and the other has income of less than their personal allowance of £12,570, which would include those who have retired, are not working because they are caring for children or elderly relatives, can’t work because of a long-term health condition, have a part-time job, or are low paid.

Around 68% of people in their 60s are either married or in Civil Partnerships, the Government said, and may not realise they can claim the Marriage Allowance if one of them has retired while the other is still working.

Charlie Bethel, Chief Officer, UK Men’s Sheds, a charity which brings retired men together to meet at community workshops, said: “If you have retired and your partner is still working, you may not realise that you could apply for Marriage Allowance. As a charity that brings retired men together, we are urging our members throughout the UK to invest the 30 seconds of time it takes to find out if they can claim.”

 

How does it work?

Marriage Allowance gives couples the chance to reduce their tax liabilities by allowing the lower or non-earning spouse to reduce the amount of tax their partner or spouse pays. This is due to the way the Personal Allowance, which is normally £12,570, and is the amount that someone can earn before they need to begin paying tax, can be dealt with.

If the couple is eligible for Marriage Allowance, then the lower or non-earning spouse or partner can transfer £1,260 of their Personal Allowance to the higher earner in the partnership. This can reduce their tax liability by as much as £252 a year.

Even better, if the couple has been eligible but hasn’t previously claimed the Marriage Allowance, then they can backdate their claim for the previous four tax year and receive a lump-sum payment of more than £1,000.

 

How to find out if you’re eligible

HMRC is currently promoting its Marriage Allowance Calculator, which will allow you to find out if you are eligible for the allowance or not.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary, said: “The Marriage Allowance calculator helps couples to find out in seconds how much they stand to benefit. Check today and claim right away. It’s a quick and easy process that’s worth up to £252 a year.”

To benefit from the tax relief, one partner must have income less than £12,570 and the higher earning partner’s income must be between £12,571 and £50,270 or £43,662 in Scotland. HMRC has produced a YouTube video to explain who is eligible and how to apply called Marriage Allowance – who is eligible and how to apply which gives more information.

 

We can help you meet your obligations

Marriage Allowance is one tax benefit you might be eligible for, but there could be others. If you want to be sure you are claiming everything you can, then please get in touch and we will explain what you need to know.