Marriage Allowance is one of the new government services being delivered online and was introduced from April 2015. It allows a spouse or civil partner to transfer 10% (£1,060) of their personal allowance (£10,600 for the 2015-16 tax year) to their partner, provided that neither of them pay tax at the higher or additional rate.
This can benefit couples where a spouse does not currently use their full personal allowance and reduce their partner’s tax by up to £212 for the current tax year.
HMRC used the first part of the tax year to test the digital service and ensure it worked well for customers who registered their interest for Marriage Allowance and later applied by email invitation. Marriage Allowance is now open to the wider public and can be claimed by all eligible couples without the need to register first.
Please note that applications must be made by the person with the lower income.
Customers can apply online at www.GOV.UK/marriageallowance
HMRC customer advisers can support applicants through the online process and where necessary take an application over the telephone.
Customers unable to apply online can apply by telephone calling 0300 200 3300. When asked, they should say they are calling about ‘Marriage Allowance’ to be put through to an advisor. They will need details of both partner’s National Insurance numbers.
Customers will need to confirm their identity with HMRC to make an application, and will be asked to provide one of the following:
- the last 4 digits of the account that their pension, child benefit or tax credits is paid into
- the last 4 digits of an account that pays interest
- details from a P60
Employers can help
HMRC is keen that everyone who is eligible for Marriage Allowance is aware of it and able to access it. HMRC would like employers to:
- Encourage all eligible people to apply for Marriage Allowance sooner rather than later in the tax year. This will help mitigate against large volumes of tax code changes being issued at the same time. This will also enable applicants to benefit from the allowance earlier in the year. The benefit will be backdated to April 2015 year
- Signpost customers to www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance-guide for further information on eligibility and the application process
Information courtesy of the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP)