- Couples eligible for Marriage Allowance worth up to £238 per year
- They can also receive backdated claims of up to £662 as lump sum
- But online form application has come under fire for being difficult to claim
More than one million couples in the UK are missing out on a tax break that could improve their finances by up to £900 – just because they don’t spend a few minutes filling in an online form.
Those married and civil partnered couples are eligible for the Marriage Allowance worth up to £238 per year, according to HM Revenue and Customs.
They can also receive backdated claims of up to £662 as a lump sum.
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Missed opportunity: More than one million couples are missing out a tax break that could improve their finances by up to £900 – just because they don’t fill in a simple online form
HMRC said the new online application form can take under 10 minutes to fill in.
However, the allowance, aimed at couples with one major income source, has come under fire for being difficult to claim.
Around three million couples nationwide have already taken up the Marriage Allowance.
How Marriage Allowance works
- Partners must be married or in a civil partnership
- One partner needs to be earning at least £11,850 a year and paying tax at the basic rate of 20 per cent. If they are earning more than £46,350 (£43,430 in Scotland) they are not eligible
- The other partner must be earning less than £11,850 in 2018-19, meaning they pay no tax
- If they meet those conditions, the partner not paying tax can transfer 10 per cent of their tax allowance to a partner, saving £238 in this tax year
- Back-claims can be made for previous years
People have a tax-free personal allowance of £11,850 and no tax is due on income up to this amount.
The Marriage Allowance allows a spouse or civil partner who is a non-taxpayer to transfer £1,190 of their tax-free personal allowance to their partner, thus reducing their tax bill.
To be eligible, the non-taxpayer’s partner needs to earn income of between £11,851 and £46,350, or £43,430 in Scotland.
Around four million married couples stand to benefit from the Marriage Allowance, which was introduced in April 2015.
Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: ‘This is a really important tax relief and reflects the social importance of marriages and civil partnerships.
‘I’d urge those that haven’t yet managed to claim the money to do so right away – it’s quick and easy to apply.’
HMRC has run several advertising campaigns to persuade people to apply for Marriage Allowance but has been so far frustrated by the lack of take-up.