Couples encouraged on Valentine’s Day to say ‘I do’ to £250 tax break

February 14, 2020 12:01:00 AM

Married couples and people in civil partnerships are being encouraged to say “I do” to a £250 tax break on Valentine’s Day.

More than 1.78 million couples already have the Marriage Allowance boost, but it is estimated more than two million are missing out on up to £250 this year, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said.

Claims can also be backdated, meaning couples could potentially receive up to £1,150.

It is the last chance for eligible couples to backdate their claim for the 2015/16 tax year as the deadline for doing so is April 5.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s director general for customer services, 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 £1,250 of their Personal Allowance to their spouse or civil partner – if their income is higher.

This reduces their tax by up to £250 for the 2020/21 tax year. At present, claims can also be backdated four years to April 2015.

But after April 5 2020, couples will only be able to claim back to the 2016/17 year.

People can apply directly through HMRC.

People in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can benefit from Marriage Allowance if all the following apply:

– You are  married or in a civil partnership

– You do not pay income tax or your income is below your Personal Allowance (usually £12,500)

– Your partner pays income tax at the basic rate between £12,501 and £50,000

For people in Scotland the same criteria applies, except your partner must pay income tax at the starter, basic or intermediate rates between £12,501 and £43,430.

More than four million married couples and 15,000 civil partnerships could benefit from Marriage Allowance, HMRC said.

Marriage Allowance claims are automatically renewed annually but couples should tell HMRC if their circumstances change.

Couples can find out more information and apply for Marriage Allowance at gov.uk/marriage-allowance.

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