Have you claimed your marriage allowance?

Is there £230 out there with your name on it? Kelly-Anne Byres talks you through the annual marriage allowance that two million couples are missing out on.

There is currently a £1.3 billion pot of gold waiting to be claimed in the UK. 
The money was specifically designated for couples where one partner pays standard rate income tax and the other is a non-taxpayer. 
And yet new figures have revealed that a whopping two million households haven’t claimed their share.

What’s stopping you?

Nothing. It’s very, very easy to find out if you are eligible and to claim your cash.
And better yet, you can backdate your claim to April 2015 when the legislation was passed – which might mean you receive a cheque for several hundred pounds in the post in time for Christmas.

You can claim if the following apply: 
•    you are married or in a civil partnership
•    one partner in the couple doesn’t earn anything at all or their income is £11,500 or less in 2017-18 while the other partner’s income is between £11,501 and £45,000 in 2017-18 – or £43,000 if you are in Scotland.
If you tick the boxes, the lower earner can transfer any unused tax-free allowance of up to 10% of the value of the full personal allowance (ie, £1,150 in 2017-18, because the personal allowance is currently £11,500) to their higher-earning partner. This reduces their tax by up to £230 in the current tax year.

The nitty gritty

When the marriage allowance was introduced in April 2015, the government said that more than four million married couples and 15,000 civil partnerships stood to benefit. 
Ministers said it would help them save up to £212 a year – though that figure has since risen to £230. 
But statistics from HMRC have revealed only half of those who are eligible have profited.

Applying for your marriage allowance is simple. Visit gov.uk/apply-marriage-allowance.
You will need to fill in a few basic details and provide the national insurance numbers for the couple applying.
You will also need a way to prove your identity (the last four digits of the account that their child benefit, tax credits or pension are paid into, or their passport number and expiry date).
HMRC will give the recipient partner their extra allowance either by changing their tax code or via the self-assessment tax system. 
The lower earner’s personal allowance will transfer automatically to their partner every year until one of them cancels the allowance or their circumstances change. Any backdated money owed is likely to be paid to the recipient by cheque.