Martin Lewis spoke on the ITV show Good Morning Britain this week, sharing his money saving tips. Dedicating part of his section to couples who are married or in a civil partnership, he explained how people could claim a tax break which could be worth up to £1,150.
Mr Lewis was speaking about the Marriage Allowance.
He said: “The Marriage Tax Allowance is an allowance for married couples or those in civil partnerships.
“What it says is if there’s a non-taxpayer married to a 20 percent basic rate taxpayer, the non-taxpayer can give 10 percent of their tax-free allowance to the 20 percent taxpayer.
“So 10 percent this year is £1,250. If you save 20 percent tax on £1,250, you gain £250 and that’s done by changing the tax code.
Martin Lewis: The Money Saving Expert spoke about the Marriage Allowance on ITV
In addition to the current tax break which could potentially be worth £250 in the current tax year, it’s possible for some eligible couples to get a further amount of money.
This is because it’s possible to claim back up to four years.
“But you can also back claim this for four years, which means - and people get a cheque for the rest - is £1,150," Mr Lewis added.
“On the 6th April we have a new tax year, and for the first time that means you can’t go back to the beginning," he said.
"So you will lose the 2015/16 tax year if you were eligible, if you don’t claim it now - because after the 6th April you can no longer back claim that amount.”
He told viewers: “So look, if you’re a non-taxpayer married to a taxpayer in almost every circumstance, this is a big winner for you.”
"If you’re a non-taxpayer married to a taxpayer, it counts,” he said.
“2.4million of you are eligible and misisng out."
The 2019 to 2020 tax year will end on April 5, 2020.
It’s possible to calculate how much tax a person could save as a couple by using the “Marriage Allowance calculator” on the government website.
Marriage Allowance: Who can apply?
A person is able to benefit from Marriage Allowance if the following apply:
- They’re married or in a civil partnership
- They do not pay Income Tax or their income is below their Personal Allowance (usually £12,500)
- Their partner pays Income Tax at the basic rate, which usually means their income is between £12,501 and £50,000 before they receive Marriage Allowance.
It’s not possible to claim Marriage Allowance if a couple are living together but they’re not married or in a civil partnership. The government website points out that if a person or their partner were born before April 6, 1935, then they may benefit more as a couple by applying for Married Couple’s Allowance instead.
It’s not possible to get Marriage Allowance and Married Couple’s Allowance at the same time, although it is now possible to apply for the benefit online - if you qualify.
Last month the taxman had to confirm that couples will get their marriage allowance after a technical glitch in the system made it appear as though their claims were not being counted.
HM Revenue & Customs has admitted that a technical problem from April last year meant that people could not see the tax reduction while their 2018-19 return was in progress.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV from 6am.