Editor | 29 March 2016
Just 8% of eligible couples are taking advantage of this tax break

Just 8% of eligible couples are taking advantage of this tax break

It was one of the Conservative’s flagship tax policies and could be worth over £200 to any married couples that are eligible. But an official report has found that just 8 per cent of qualifying couples are claiming the marriage tax break.

The marriage tax allowance gives a married person the ability to transfer £1,060 of their tax-free personal allowance to a spouse or civil partner. If they made use of the full allowance, it means that a couple would receive an extra £212 each year in take home pay.

A report from the Office for Budget Responsibility found that of the 4.2 million people that are eligible for the tax break, only 504,000 have taken advantage of it.

The perk isn’t available to couples where one partner earns over the higher rate tax threshold of £42,285.

Couples will also not be able to transfer their allowance if both spouses earn over the personal tax allowance threshold (set at £11,000 from April 2016 and rising to £11,500 on 6 April 2017).

‘Chaos’ at HMRC

The official report blamed chaotic IT systems at HMRC, which they said hindered applications for the scheme. It also suggested that the scheme was poorly advertised and that some people may not have applied because they thought dealing with the tax office would be too complicated.

The tax authority has received a lot of bad press in recent months. But with the prospect of an extra £212 on the table for eligible couples, married people and those in civil partnerships should not be deterred from claiming the tax break.

How to register for the marriage allowance tax break

Before you check your eligibility and apply for the tax break, you’ll need your own and your partner’s National Insurance numbers as well as some way of proving your identity.

To do this you’ll need one of the following:

  • The last four digits of the account that your child benefit, tax credits or pension is paid into.
  • The last four digits of an account that pays you interest.
  • Details from your P60.

Once you have collected the relevant information you can check your eligibility and claim your tax break by visiting this page on the Tax Service website.

Cloud Accountant are contactable on 0808 281 0303 or email: team@cloudaccountant.co.uk