Could you claim the marriage allowance?
If you are entitled to the marriage allowance and have not yet applied, you could receive a payment of up to £1,150 from HMRC. HMRC used the occasion of Valentine’s Day to remind couples to make a claim. It is estimated that whilst 1.78 million couples have already claimed the Marriage Allowance, there are still more than 2 million eligible couples that have not made a claim.
The marriage allowance is available to qualifying married couples and those in a civil partnership where a spouse or civil partner is a non-taxpayer i.e. has an income below their personal allowance (currently £12,500). The marriage allowance facilitates the lower earning partner to transfer up to £1,250 of their personal tax-free allowance to their spouse or civil partner. The marriage allowance can only be used when the recipient of the transfer (the higher earning partner) doesn’t pay more than the basic 20% rate of Income Tax. This would usually mean that the higher earner's income is between £12,500 to £50,000 in 2019-20. The limits are slightly different if you live in Scotland.
If you meet the eligibility requirements and have not yet claimed the allowance, then you can backdate your claim to 6 April 2015. This could result in a total tax break of up to £1,150.
Please note, that back-dating claims for the tax year 2015-16 is 5 April 2020.