Millions Missing Out on £212 Savings Through Marriage Tax Allowances

February 12, 2016

Millions of Britons are understood to be missing out on the potential of saving £212 on their annual tax bills by not claiming marriage-related tax allowances for which they are eligible.

According to the latest figures, as many as 3.7 million couples around the UK are currently eligible for but not taking advantage of the marriage tax allowances that are in place.

The rules around marriage tax allowances were changed in time for the current tax year alongside changes that raised the general personal income tax allowance to £10,600 per person.

In essence, the marriage allowances open up the option for individuals who earn less than £10,600 to transfer a portion of their tax allowance to a partner who earns in excess of that figure and is a basic rate taxpayer, with the result being a potential annual saving of £212 per couple.

The same rules apply for couples in a civil partnership, with the allowances currently going overlooked in many cases as a potential money saver for people who work full time but whose partners work part time and earn less than £10,600 over the course of a year.

One other caveat relevant to the transferring of tax allowances in this context is that both parties in a marriage or partnership need to have been born after 1935 because the rules are a little different for anyone in that higher age bracket.

HMRC is actively encouraging couples that are eligible for its marriage tax breaks to make the relevant applications and take advantage of the savings available via its website and by visiting www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance.

Once the tax allowance has been transferred from one partner to another in a particular tax year then the same switch will automatically occur in subsequent tax years unless circumstances change and the couple becomes ineligible for any reason.

HMRC has also made clear that anyone applying for the marriage tax breaks can do so at any time of year and the applications don’t need to made at any specific point during a given tax year.

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