Individuals claiming the marriage allowance for tax year 2018-19 urged to check Self-Assessment tax returns

03 February 2020

As previously reported in the CIPP’s News Online, individuals completing their Self-Assessment tax returns for 2018-19 were experiencing issues when trying to take advantage of their spouse’s annual marriage allowance. There has now been confirmation that this was due to a glitch in the Self-Assessment system from April 2019 which was fixed on 21 January 2020.

The flaw meant that Marriage Allowance claims were being omitted from Self-Assessment claims, so there may be a number of individuals who have overpaid tax. The Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has advised married couples who filed their tax returns prior to the glitch being fixed on 21 January 2020 to check their calculations.

Victoria Todd, head of the LITRG team, said:

“There was a glitch in HMRC’s system until this month that meant the recipients of the tax reduction did not see this in their Self Assessment tax calculation for 2018/19 when they used HMRC’s online system to file their tax return. HMRC have been working behind the scenes to issue amended calculations to those affected and we urge taxpayers to check their calculations and make sure the tax reduction has been included.

Some taxpayers may already have made their tax payments, due by 31 January 2020, and have overpaid due to HMRC’s error. Such taxpayers will receive a tax repayment within four weeks and should contact HMRC if they do not.”

The Marriage Allowance allows individuals to forfeit up to 10% of their personal allowance to transfer to their spouse or civil partner in the event that they do not make full use of their personal allowance. This allows the spouse or civil partner to obtain a tax reduction in the event that both parties are basic rate taxpayers (or Scottish intermediate rate, if applicable).


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