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Millions of pounds of unclaimed allowance go begging

Four hundred million pounds earmarked for couples are lying unclaimed in government coffers as fewer than one in ten people eligible for the Marriage Allowance have taken up the tax break.

The scheme means that if one married or civil partner is earning below the tax threshold of £11,850, their unclaimed allowance can be transferred to the other partner. It can mean couples are up to £238 a year better off.

When it was announced, the government said 4.2 million households would benefit but few people have claimed since the scheme came into effect. HM Revenue & Customs are now promoting the scheme.

Married couples miss out on millions as fewer than 1 in 10 claim Marriage Allowance tax break worth up to £238
The first £11,850 of an individual’s earnings are not taxed. The idea is that if someone does not reach the point of paying tax, or does not earn at all, their partner can have their unclaimed allowance. It cannot be claimed if one person earns above the upper threshold of £46,350.

Think you qualify? Claim online or through the income tax helpline 0300 200 3300. You will need NI numbers and dates of birth for both partners.

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