Save £238 a year with the Marriage Allowance

If you’re married or in a civil partnership, you could be owed a tax break

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I’ve mentioned this before but as I have been receiving such a lot of emails and tweets from readers who have saved £238 off this year’s tax bill by claiming the Marriage Allowance, I thought it worth returning to.

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The process is simple and quick yet there are still more than a million eligible couples out there who have not claimed it.

Here is a reminder of who can claim: you must be married (or in a civil partnership), one of you with income too low to pay income tax and the other not earning enough to be taxed at the higher rate.

If you fulfil all three requirements, then you can claim the allowance and will normally save £238 off your tax this tax year (2018/19).

If you have fulfilled the conditions since 2015/16, your claim can be backdated, giving a potential total tax rebate of £900.

If your spouse or partner has died you can now claim the allowance for years when they were alive.

You should be aware that if you both pay basic rate tax you can still claim the Marriage Allowance, but as a couple you will not be any better off.

One will get a £238 tax refund but the other will pay £238 more tax. Where the non-taxpayer has an income just below the personal allowance of £11,850 a year the taxpayer will gain £238 but the other may have to pay some tax.

They will still be better off but it can be annoying. If either of you was born before 6 April 1935 then you cannot claim the Marriage Allowance. Instead you can claim the more valuable Married Couple’s Allowance.

It is normally worth £869.50 a year off the tax of the higher paid partner, and if that income is over £28,900 it is reduced but never falls below £336.

You can claim Marriage Allowance online. You will need dates of birth, National Insurance numbers and one simple form of ID, such as a bank account or passport number.

If you do not have access to the internet, call HMRC taxes helpline on 0300 200 3300, which is open seven days a week.

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For further information, visitgov.uk and search “marriage  allowance”; if you are 83 or over search “married couple’s allowance”.