Martin Lewis urges married Britons to act fast to slash taxes by up to £1,188

Martin Lewis discusses marriage tax allowance

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Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, appeared on his ITV Money Show this evening to discuss a number of ways for Britons to save money. Particularly of note is an issue for married individuals, or those who are in a civil partnership, providing them an opportunity to drastically slash their tax. However, the expert shared that Britons would have to act fast in order to make the most of the offering.

The issue in question is the Marriage Allowance which can help those who are married or in a civil partnership to potentially get a tax rebate.

Under the HMRC overseen scheme, people earning £12,500 or less can transfer up to £1,250 of their Personal Allowance to their husband, wife or civil partner.

They will be able to do this if their income is higher and they are a basic rate taxpayer – paying tax at 20 percent.

For the current tax year, this will reduce tax by up to £250, an easy win for many couples.

But as Martin highlighted, individuals will also be able to backdate their claim for at least four years.

This is where the important deadline kicks in, and it will be vital for couples to act quickly in order to benefit.

A back payment of up to four years could mean some couples are able to claim as much as £1,188.

However, failing to act before the next tax year commences on April 6, could mean people miss out on their older entitlement. 

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For this reason, Martin urged people not to delay, and encouraged a speedy claim.

He stated: “If you do it now, you’d get the 2016/17 allowance, but if you left it for three weeks, you’d lose out on that – and it’s about £200.

“It’s definitely worth checking out, and it is fairly easy to do.

“It will only take a couple of minutes for you to complete on the official GOV.UK website.”

One person wrote in to the Martin Lewis show to provide his good news story about the marriage allowance.

Bill explained: “Thank you Martin Lewis, I followed your advice about the marriage tax.

“I applied and got a rebate cheque for £953.65 today – thanks very much!”

Martin explained Marriage Allowance is extremely easy to apply for, but cautioned people against using intermediary firms.

These, as he has highlighted in the past, may take a fee for processing a Marriage Allowance claim.

Instead, couples can approach the Government directly on the matter, which HMRC has said will ensure a “guaranteed 100 percent” of entitlements are received. 

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Second Permanent Secretary, commented on the issue.

She said: “For some, a tax break will be a welcome source of extra cash during these difficult times. I urge couples to take advantage of this offer, which could put up to £250 back in their pockets each year.

“Signing up is simple, the quickest way to claim is through the GOV.UK website, just search ‘marriage allowance’.”

The Government went on to state the same criteria applies for people in married couples and civil partnerships in Scotland.

However, in this case, the partner must pay Income Tax at the starter, basic or intermediate rates between £12,501 and £43,430. 

Martin Lewis is the Founder and Chair of MoneySavingExpert.com. To join the 13 million people who get his free Money Tips weekly email, go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip

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