Why don\’t they join up the dots

According to HMRC, around three million couples across the UK have boosted their finances by claiming the Marriage Allowance, but more than a million married and civil partnered couples are still eligible for the free tax break worth up to £238 a year.

Thanks to the start of the new tax year couples can backdate their claim and boost a potential tax refund to a possible £900.

HMRC further announced:

Applying for Marriage Allowance is quick and easy and once an application is complete it’s processed immediately. The new online form takes fewer than ten minutes to fill out and eligible customers will receive backdated claims of up to £662 as a lump sum. Over 300,000 couples have signed up for the Marriage Allowance tax break since March 2018.

Which is all very well, but if HMRC can estimate the numbers of couples that are still eligible to make a claim – the 1 million referred to above – then why don’t they simply re-allocate the allowances automatically? Obviously, HMRC would need the permission of the partner who was transferring their spare personal allowance but HMRC could set up a much slicker digital process to cope with the formalities?

Surely most of the one million taxpayers will not have access to HMRC’s press releases, and this is precisely why there are still one million couples who have not claimed?

Perhaps the department that is tasked with developing the Making Tax Digital technology should get involved?

If you are reading this post and either you or your civil partner/spouse have income below the personal tax allowance (£11,850 for 2018-19, and equivalent amounts for earlier years) then follow this link to make a claim: https://www.gov.uk/apply-marriage-allowance.

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