Thousands of couples could be missing out on money boost now weddings are back

The Marriage Allowance Tax could see couples receiving money if their wedding was delayed due to coronavirus.

In the scheme, it allows non-taxpayers to pass 10% of their personal tax-free allowance to their partner each year.

Latest HMRC figures show married couples are using Marriage Allowance to save up to £252 a year in income tax.

Even those that may never have been eligible could find they now qualify because their circumstances have changed.

The scheme allows marriage couples or those in civil partnerships to share their personal tax allowances.

It works when one earns an income under their personal allowance threshold of £12,570 and the other is a basic rate taxpayer.

They can transfer 10% of their tax-free allowance to their partner, which is £1,260 in 2021/22 – and claim the benefit back four years.

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Couples can reduce the tax they pay by up to £252 a year and it could be backdated, which might be worth up to a total of £1,220.

It is completely free to apply for Marriage Allowance and the easiest way to check eligibility is through the GOV.UK website.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC's deputy chief executive, said: "Marriage Allowance lets eligible couples share their Personal Allowances and reduce their tax by up to £252 a year.

"Nearly 1.8million couples are already using the service – it is free, quick and easy to apply, just search 'marriage allowance' on GOV.UK."

To find out if you're eligible, the following must apply to you:

  • You're in a recent marriage or civil partnership
  • One partner has retired and the other remains working
  • A change in employment due to Covid-19
  • A reduction in working hours which means their earnings fall below their Personal Allowance
  • Unpaid leave or a career break, or one partner is studying or in education and not earning above their Personal Allowance

If you cannot apply for Marriage Allowance online, you can go to HMRC in writing or via your self-assessment tax return.

You can still claim if a spouse of civil partner has died since April 5, 2017.

Marriage Allowance claims are automatically renewed every year. However, couples should notify HMRC if circumstances change.

Tax expert Julia Rosenbloom, from accountancy firm Smith & Williamson, said couples who have postponed their wedding due to Covid, but faced furlough should check if they qualify.

She said: "After all the disruption of the last 15 months and potentially needing to postpone their ceremony several times over, it will be a relief for couples that weddings are finally able to go ahead.

"Once they have enjoyed their big day and maybe also a honeymoon, it could pay financially for newly married couples to see if they are eligible for Marriage Allowance.

"I'd urge people who have been married for many years to look carefully at whether changes in their personal circumstances mean they could also benefit from this tax relief.

"Changes to working arrangements, potentially as a result of Covid-19, or a decision to return to education mean they could be eligible."

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