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Return of the Marriage Allowance

By Qdos Contractor

Qdos Contractor

Tax benefits of marriage restored

Fifteen years since the married couples allowance was abolished for most people, marriage in the tax system is to be recognised once again. As from 6th April 2015, married couples and civil partners could benefit from an annual tax allowance of up to £212, courtesy of a new marriage allowance that was previously announced in last year's Budget.

The allowance will be available to around 4 million married couples and civil partners born after 6 April 1935. Couples born before 1935 are able to claim the married couples allowance, which is separate from this new marriage allowance.

The marriage allowance will allow a spouse or civil partner with income of less than £10,600 to transfer £1,060 of their personal tax-free allowance to their higher-income spouse or partner. As long as the person receiving the transfer doesn’t pay tax at the higher or additional rate (for most people that’s an income of £42,385 or below), couples could benefit from an annual tax reduction of up to £212, or around £17.66 a month.

Eligible couples can now register their interest for marriage allowance at www.gov.uk/marriageallowance.

Registration is straightforward and takes about 3 minutes. The spouse/partner with the lower income registers their interest in transferring their personal allowance by entering some basic details (name and email address) on the GOV.UK website. HMRC will then confirm the expression of interest by email and explain when couples will receive an invitation to apply. Registering for marriage allowance can only be completed online and it will not be possible to do so by telephoning the Revenue.

Those who don’t register will still be able to make an application during the tax year 2015/2016 and still receive the full allowance.

From April of this year, HMRC will invite those who have registered to formally apply for the allowance in stages. At that point HMRC will tell them about the change to their PAYE tax code or reflect the changes in their Self Assessment calculations

Chancellor George Osborne said, “We made a promise to introduce a recognition of marriage into our tax system and now we're delivering on that promise.”

I don't think this incentive will replace love as the motive for getting married though!

Published March 2015