Tax relief: Thousands issued ‘last chance’ warning – could you get £212 by acting now?

Thousands of married couples and civil partners are being urged to claim more than £200 from the government, ahead of the cut-off date in April 2020. It may be that a person can do this via the Marriage Allowance.


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This form of tax relief entitles non-taxpayers to transfer up to 10 percent of their £12,500 Personal Allowance to a spouse or civil partner, should they be a basic rate taxpayer.

Claims for the Marriage Allowance can be backdated by four years.

This means that eligible couples could claim up to £1,150 of tax owed to them since the Marriage Allowance was introduced back in 2015.

This is provided they were eligible – such as being in a civil partnership or married – for this time.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed to financial advice firm NFU Mutual that on April 6, 2020, the first year of tax relief will be lost to couples who are yet to claim it.

HMRC figures show that 1.78 million couples claimed the Marriage Allowance in 2018/19.

However, an estimated 2.4 million are missing out.

Ahead of the tax year end on April 5, a warning has been issued to the thousands of couples who may be eligible to claim Marriage Allowance.

Sean McCann, chartered financial planner at NFU Mutual, said: “This is the last chance for couples to backdate claims before the first year is lost forever.”

Mr McCann explained that that could mean £212 is “potentially going down the drain” for thousands of couples who are entitled to it.

He added: “Like too many tax reliefs, Marriage Allowance isn’t automatically handed out by HMRC.

“Couples have to actively claim it, so it’s worth checking to see if you’re owed money.”


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Marriage Allowance: Maximum reclaims

In 2015/2016, the tax-free Personal Allowance was £10,600, meaning £1,060 was transferable to the higher earning taxpayer partner.

This mean that the maximum reclaim of 20 percent was £212.

In 2016/2017, the maximum reclaim was £220, while it was £230 in the following tax year.

In the 2018/19 tax year, this was £238, and £250 in the 2019 to 2020 tax year.

This means that those who are eligible to claim Marriage Allowance in this tax year and the backdated four years could potentially get back £1,150 via the Marriage Allowance.

Earlier this month, Martin Lewis warned that eligible couples could end up missing out on a significant chunk of money if they didn’t act before the end of the tax year.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, he said: “On the 6th April we have a new tax year, and for the first time that means you can’t go back to the beginning.

“So you will lose the 2015/16 tax year if you were eligible, if you don’t claim it now – because after the 6th April you can no longer back claim that amount.”

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