HMRC encourages couples and civil partners to claim the Marriage Allowance this Valentine’s Day

14 February 2020

HMRC has published a press release urging married couples and those in civil partnerships to claim the Marriage Allowance to earn a Valentine’s Day cash boost.

It is estimated that over two million individuals could be missing out on the £250 tax break that arises from claiming the Marriage Allowance, even though more than 1.78 million couples already utilise this benefit. Claims can be backdated for up to four years to April 2015, meaning that individuals could receive up to £1,150.

The Director General for Customer Services at HMRC, Angela MacDonald, said:

“Applying for Marriage Allowance is a quick and easy way for married couples and people in a civil partnership to have £250 or more put back in their pockets.

 It’s fantastic to see so many couples have already put a few minutes aside to apply, and we hope many more will sign up this Valentine’s Day to take advantage of this tax relief.”

 The Marriage Allowance allows people with an income of £12,500 or less to transfer up to a maximum of £1,250 to their husband, wife or civil partner from their own Personal Allowance, if their income is higher. This will then reduce the relevant individual’s tax by up to £250 for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

If all the following criteria are met, then HMRC customers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can benefit from the Marriage Allowance:

  • They are married or in a civil partnership
  • They do not pay income tax or income is below the Personal Allowance (the current standard allowance is £12,500)
  • Their partner pays Income Tax at basic rate only, so between £12,501 and £50,000

The criteria differ slightly for customers in Scotland as the partner must pay Income Tax at the starter, basic or intermediate rates, so between £12,501 and £43,430.

HMRC has predicted that four million married couples and 15,000 civil partnerships could benefit from the Marriage Allowance.

Guidance provided confirms that Marriage Allowance claims are automatically renewed each year, so do not need to be submitted annually, but that couples should notify HMRC of any changes to circumstances.

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