In a push to boost the finances of married and civil partnership couples, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging them to take just 30 seconds to check if they can claim Marriage Allowance, potentially unlocking up to £252 annually.
Eligibility Check During Talk Money Week
As part of Talk Money Week, HMRC introduces a quick and easy way for couples to determine their eligibility for Marriage Allowance by utilizing the HMRC’s online calculator. In mere moments, couples can ascertain if they qualify for this financial boost.
Who Can Benefit?
Couples who may be unaware of their eligibility include those where one partner works, and the other earns less than the personal allowance threshold of £12,570. This encompasses individuals who have retired, those who have opted to care for children or elderly relatives, those with long-term health conditions limiting their ability to work, part-time workers, and those in low-paid jobs.
Claiming Marriage Allowance: A Simple Process
Claiming Marriage Allowance is straightforward and, importantly, free via GOV.UK. Couples who apply directly on the government website will receive the full 100% tax relief they are entitled to.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary, underscores the simplicity of the process: “The Marriage Allowance calculator helps couples to find out in seconds how much they stand to benefit. Check today and claim right away. It’s a quick and easy process that’s worth up to £252 a year. Search ‘Marriage Allowance’ on GOV.UK for more information.”
A Hidden Gem for Retired Couples
With approximately 68% of individuals in their sixties being married or in civil partnerships, many in this age group may be unaware of the potential benefits if they’ve retired while their partner continues to work.
UK Men’s Sheds Takes Action
UK Men’s Sheds, a charity that brings together retired men at community workshops, is actively promoting this opportunity to its members.
Charlie Bethel, Chief Officer of UK Men’s Sheds, encourages retired individuals:
“If you have 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 are urging our members throughout the UK to invest the 30 seconds of time it takes to find out if they can claim.”
How Marriage Allowance Works
Marriage Allowance can save couples money by allowing the lower-earning partner to reduce their partner’s tax liability. Most individuals have a Personal Allowance set at £12,570, which represents the income that is exempt from taxation. With Marriage Allowance, the lower-earning partner can transfer £1,260 of their Personal Allowance to their spouse or civil partner.
This transfer can lead to an annual tax reduction of up to £252. Additionally, if eligible, couples can retroactively claim for the previous four tax years, potentially receiving a lump-sum payment exceeding £1,000.
To benefit from this tax relief, one partner must have an income below £12,570, while the higher-earning partner’s income must fall between £12,571 and £50,270 (£43,662 in Scotland). HMRC provides further clarification through a YouTube video explaining eligibility and the application process.
More on this Allowance
Marriage Allowance allows individuals to transfer 10% of their tax-free Personal Allowance. The maximum transfer amount varies according to the Personal Allowance for that tax year.
Marriage Allowance Amounts by Tax Year
- 2023/24: £252
- 2022/23: £252
- 2021/22: £252
- 2020/21: £250
- 2019/20: £250
In Scotland, couples can benefit from the allowance if the partner with the higher income pays income tax at the starter, basic rate, or intermediate rate, typically indicating an income ranging between £12,571 and £43,662.
How to Claim
It is quick and easy to claim Marriage Allowance for free via GOV.UK. Applying directly on GOV.UK means couples will receive 100% of the tax relief due.