HMRC discuss rules on hourly pay and back pay
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HMRC detailed today nearly 1.8 million married couples and those in civil partnerships are using Marriage Allowance to save up to £252 a year in Income Tax. The Government noted married couples may have also experienced a change in their circumstances which would now make them eligible for Marriage Allowance if they weren’t so before.
HMRC explained: “Summer has always been a popular season for weddings, and newly married couples or those in civil partnerships could be eligible for the tax saving.
“And even if they have been married for years, a change in circumstances could also mean they are newly eligible.”
Marriage Allowance allows married couples or those in civil partnerships to share their personal tax allowances if one partner earns an income under their Personal Allowance threshold of £12,570 and the other is a basic rate taxpayer.
Eligible claimants can transfer 10 percent of their tax-free allowance to their partner, which equates to £1,260 for the 2021/22 tax year.
HMRC issued guidance on Marriage Allowance (Image: GETTY)
This means couples could reduce the tax they pay by up to £252 a year.
Couples can also backdate their claims for any of the four previous tax years, which could be worth up to a total of £1,220.
HMRC noted it is free to apply for Marriage Allowance and the easiest way for taxpayers to check eligibility and make a claim to receive 100 percent of the relief they are entitled to is via GOV.UK.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary, commented: “Marriage Allowance lets eligible couples share their Personal Allowances and reduce their tax by up to £252 a year.
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“Nearly 1.8 million couples are already using the service – it is free, quick and easy to apply, just search ‘marriage allowance’ on GOV.UK.”
Married couples may have experienced a change in their circumstances recently which could now mean they are eligible for Marriage Allowance.
Examples of these types of changes include one partner who has retired while the other remains working, a change in employment due to coronavirus or one partner taking unpaid leave.
These rules should be heeded at the moment as many couples would have seen their wedding plans upended by the pandemic and many may be missing out on the support.
Coronavirus upended many wedding plans (Image: EXPRESS)
Julia Rosenbloom, a tax partner at Smith & Williamson, explained: “With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, some will be celebrating their wedding with family and friends in the coming weeks.
“After all the disruption of the last 15 months and potentially needing to postpone their ceremony several times over, it will be a relief for some that it is actually able to go ahead.
“Once they have enjoyed their big day and maybe also a honeymoon, it could pay financially for newly married couples to see if they are eligible for Marriage Allowance.
“The latest update from HMRC shows that nearly 1.8 million married couples and those in civil partnerships are using Marriage Allowance to reduce their income tax bill, but there will be many more who are still missing out.
“I’d urge people who have been married for many years to look carefully at whether changes in their personal circumstances mean they could also benefit from this tax relief.
“Changes to working arrangements, potentially as a result of COVID-19, or a decision to return to education mean they could be eligible.”
Marriage Allowance claims can be made online but where this isn’t possible, claimants can apply to HMRC in writing or via a Self Assessment tax return.
Claims are also automatically renewed every year but couples should notify HMRC if their circumstances change.