The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Couples warned on tax break

- By Sarah Bridge

THOUSANDS of married couples and civil partners are being urged to claim the so-called ‘marriage allowance’ before the end of the tax year. Failure to do so will result in them losing the right to claim more than £200 from the taxman.

Introduced in 2015, marriage allowance entitles non-taxpayers to transfer up to 10 per cent of their annual personal allowance – currently £12,500 – to a partner who pays 20 per cent basic rate tax.

As a result, it means the taxpaying partner can claim back tax of £250 – 20 per cent of £1,250.

But any claim made before April 5 can be backdated four years, which means couples could claim back a total of £1,150.

Yet once the new tax year kicks in, only claims starting from the tax year ending April 5, 2017, can be made. So, any couples eligible now and failing to claim before the end of the tax year will lose £212 – the maximum claim for the financial year ended April 5, 2016.

Sean McCann, chartered financial planner at financial services supplier NFU Mutual, says: ‘Now is the last chance for couples to backdate claims before the first year is lost forever.

‘That’s £212 potentiall­y going down the drain for thousands of couples who are entitled to it. So it’s worth checking to see if you’re eligible and owed money.’

Like many tax breaks, marriage allowance is not automatica­lly handed out. Government estimates suggest that more than four million couples should be benefiting from this tax break, but just 1.78million couples claimed it in the tax year ended April 5, 2019.

If you think you are eligible, visit:

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