The UK government offers Marriage Allowance as a means to provide married couples or civil partners with extra financial support.
Eligible couples can claim up to £1,242 in tax relief, which can be a real help with things like food, bills and household expenses.
Unfortunately, around 2.4 million qualifying families do not apply for this benefit, missing out on this helpful financial aid. However, with help from the Claims Advisory Service, the application process is straightforward, and couples can quickly take advantage of this tax break to receive the financial assistance they need.
Let’s take a closer look at what marriage tax allowance is and who can claim it.
WHAT IS THE MARRIAGE TAX ALLOWANCE AND WHO CAN CLAIM IT?
Marriage tax allowance allows you to transfer £1,260 of the amount you can earn tax-free each tax year, to your spouse or civil partner if they earn more than you. This is also known at your personal allowance. Marriage tax allowance is available for married couples or those in a civil partnership with a combined household income of under £62,840.
If and when your claim is approved, the higher earner out of the two gets a reduced tax bill for that tax year, and you can also apply to backdate your claim.
To apply, you must either be married or in a civil partnership; just living together doesn’t count.
One of you must be a non-taxpayer – meaning you either earn under the £12,570 personal allowance between 6 April 2022 and 5 April 2023 or are unemployed.
The other partner needs to be a basic 20% rate taxpayer which means you’d need to earn less than £50,270. Higher or additional-rate taxpayers aren’t eligible for this allowance.
HOW MUCH CAN WE GET?
The amount available for the tax year 22/23 is up to £252 – should you apply successfully you’ll get this each year moving forward, so there’s no need to reapply for each tax year. You can also backdate your claim by up to four tax years so if you apply and back date for four years (the maximum available), you could get up to £1,242.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
What the marriage tax break does is mean that the tax paying partner pays less tax as part of the other partner’s unused allowance gets transferred over to them.
To do this both partners’ tax codes are adjusted slightly to increase the tax paying partner’s take home pay.
Here’s how it works,
Each person has a tax free allowance of £12,570 per year.
Meaning you can earn up to that amount without having to pay any tax.
If you or your partner earn less than £12,570 you can transfer the difference to your partner to make their allowance bigger and in turn pay less tax and have a larger take home pay.
And the lower earning partner can still earn up to £11,310 that year without paying tax.
Should the lower earning partner go on to earn more than £11,310 they will then start paying tax and may be worse off if the finances of the two partners are kept separately so this is important to bear in mind.
The tax paying partner also HAS to be earning under £50,270 – otherwise, the claim will be rejected.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
It usually takes around two days for your new tax code to be issued, but it’s not unknown to take months. When you notice the difference in your take home pay will depend on how quickly your employer is notified and this is picked up by payroll. If you’re self-employed, HMRC will be notified that you’re paying less tax and your self-assessment tax bill will be reduced accordingly.
This boost is available to a huge number of UK couples who just don’t realise they’re entitled to it and could help make a difference to pay packets over the coming months.
CAN I BACKDATE MY CLAIM?
If you are eligible you can backdate your claim by up to four years. Meaning if you were to apply for the allowance in 2022 you can apply for back dated payments as far as 2018 (provided you and your partner were married/in a civil partnership during that time).
Here’s the maximum tax break available for each tax year – meaning you could be entitled to up to £1,242 if you are eligible for the backdated payments.
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