Apparently, over 4 million tax payers are eligible to claim the new marriage allowance, but only 2 million have done so. If our math is correct, this add up to £1.3bn in unclaimed tax refunds.
The allowance has been available since 6 April 2015 and is worth £212 for 2015-16, £220 for 2016-17 and £230 for 2017-18; a cumulative tax rebate of £662. The allowance is only available to the following couples:
- Couples must be married or in a formal civil partnership, living together does not qualify.
- One spouse/partner needs to be a non-tax payer. i.e. their income must be below the personal tax allowance. (£10,600 for 2015-16, £11,000 for 2016-17, and £11,500 for 2017-18).
- The other spouse/partner needs to be a basic rate (20%) taxpayer. Higher rate taxpayers cannot receive any benefit from the Marriage Allowance.
The spouse/partner that has the spare personal allowance needs to make the claim, and once made, the relief should automatically be given in subsequent years. You will need to advise HMRC if your circumstances change.
The allowance is simple to claim, just visit the Gov.uk website at https://www.gov.uk/apply-marriage-allownce. And don’t forget, it is the spouse partner who pays no tax (with an unused, or partially unused, personal allowance) that needs to make the claim.
Before making the application you will need to have you and your partner’s National Insurance numbers. You will also need a way to prove your identity. This can be one of the following:
You’ll get an email from HMRC confirming your application.