HMRC urges Britons to make ’30 second’ check to claim Marriage Allowance | Personal Finance | Finance

HMRC is urging couples who are married or in a civil partnership to spend “just 30 seconds” to see if they can claim Marriage Allowance.

Marriage Allowance can boost a couple’s finances by up to £252 a year, and many don’t know they could be owed it.

By using HMRC online Marriage Allowance Calculatorcouples can find out immediately if they are eligible.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC deputy chief executive and second permanent secretary, said: “The Marriage Allowance calculator helps couples find out in seconds how much they will be entitled to.

“Check today and claim immediately. It’s a quick and easy process worth up to £252 a year. Search ‘Marriage Allowance’ on GOV.UK for more information.”

Potential claimants may include those in situations where one partner is working and the other has an income less than their personal allowance of £12,570.

This may include situations where:

  • One party is retired
  • One partner has given up work to care for children or elderly relatives
  • One partner is unable to work due to long-term health conditions
  • One party has a part-time job
  • One partner has a low paying job.

According to HMRC, directly affecting GOV.UK this means couples will receive 100 per cent of the tax relief owed – this process is also free to do.

How does the Marriage Allowance work?

The Marriage Allowance saves money for couples by allowing the lower or non-earning person to reduce the amount of tax their partner pays.

Most people have a personal allowance, usually £12,570, which is the amount of income they don’t have to pay tax on. The Marriage Allowance allows the lower earner to transfer up to £1,260 of their Personal Allowance to their husband, wife or civil partner.

This can reduce their tax by up to £252 per year. If eligible, HMRC says couples can backdate their claim to the previous four tax years and receive a lump sum payment worth more than £1,000.

To benefit from the tax relief, one partner must have an income of less than £12,570 and the income of the highest earning partner must be between £12,571 and £50,270 (£43,662 in Scotland).

With around 68 per cent of people in their sixties married or in a civil partnership, many people in this age group may not realize that they can claim the allowance if they are retired and their partner is still working.

UK Men’s Sheds, a charity that brings retired men together to meet at community workshops, is making this known to its members. Charlie Bethel, the charity’s chief officer, said: “If you are retired and your partner is still working, you may not realize that you could apply for Marriage Allowance.

“As a charity that brings retired men together, we’re urging our members across the UK to invest the 30 seconds it takes to find out if they can claim.”

HMRC has a YouTube video explain who is eligible and how to apply.

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