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Couples urged to say ‘I do’ to marriage allowance

Married couples and those in civil partnerships are being urged to say “I do” to the marriage allowance.

At the height of the wedding season, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding couples about the allowance, which allows married couples or people in civil partnerships to share their personal tax allowances.

It can apply if one partner earns below the personal allowance threshold of £12,570 and the other is a basic rate taxpayer – and couples who have been married for years can still qualify.

Eligible couples can transfer 10% of their tax-free allowance to their partner, reducing the tax they pay by up to £252 a year.

We want to ensure people are receiving vital financial support at a time when they need it most

Angela MacDonald, HM Revenue and Customs

They can apply any time and, if eligible, could backdate their claims for up to four previous tax years.

People can claim directly via HMRC’s online portal to ensure they receive 100% of the tax relief they are eligible for. They can visit gov.uk to find out how to apply.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s deputy chief executive and second permanent secretary, said: “We want to ensure people are receiving vital financial support at a time when they need it most. Married couples or those in a civil partnership could potentially receive tax relief worth up to £1,242, meaning extra cash in their pockets.

“To find out if you are eligible and how to apply, search ‘marriage allowance’ on gov.uk.”

More than two million couples currently benefit from the allowance.

Even if couples do not initially qualify, a change in circumstances could mean they become eligible, for example if one partner retires or takes a career break and the other remains in work.

If a spouse or civil partner has died since April 5 2018, the surviving person can still claim by contacting the income tax helpline, HMRC said.

More information can be found at www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance.

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