Would you like to reduce your tax bill by £230 this year? Over 2 million families are missing out on this little-known tax allowance. Today we will let you in on the secret.
In 2015, the government brought in a new “Marriage Allowance” for couples who are married or in a civil partnership. The aim was to encourage people to get married.
To qualify for this tax break:
- You need to be married or in a civil partnership.
- One of the partners must be earning less than £11,500 this year
- The other must be a basic rate taxpayer (earning less than £45,000).
- You can also claim it if a partner has died since 2015.
How does it work?
So how does it work? Well, you can choose to allocate 10% of your personal allowance to your partner. Every person in the UK gets a tax free personal allowance of £11,500 a year. This means that for the first £11,500 a year they earn, they don’t have to pay tax. But what if you don’t earn the full £11,500? Well until recently you would just lose out. But now, thanks to this new tax break, married couples can “transfer” part of this allowance to their partner and therefore save themselves over £230 a year in tax.
And here’s another piece of good news – you can claim it up to 4 years after the end of the tax year you want it for. So if you have been married since 2015, but haven’t claimed it, you can now claim it not only for this tax year (2017/18) but also for the 2015/16 tax year and 2016/17 tax year – which means you can reduce your tax bill this year by £662!! (the allowance was £212 in 2015/16 and £220 in 2016/17).
Please note that to claim it for these previous years, the same rules apply. One of you must be a basic rate taxpayer during those years. The other must be earning less than the £11,000 in 2016/17 and £10,600 in 2015/16 personal allowance too.
You can claim this even if you are on maternity leave, a volunteer, unemployed, sick, self-employed and so on.
So how do you get it? Well, you can apply online at the HMRC website or call HMRC on 0300 200 3300. Also please make sure that it is the non-taxpayer (the person who earns less than £11,500) who makes the claim.