Taxpayers do not need to use claims companies to receive HMRC’s marriage allowance
Claims companies are charging hard-pressed taxpayers up to 52% of the tax refund they are entitled to for the marriage allowance, which can be obtained by filling in a simple form.
Andrew Sanford, Partner says
“Claims companies are making thousands of pounds out of unsuspecting taxpayers when it is just not necessary, and all taxpayers have to do is fill in a form that takes two minutes to complete. There is absolutely no need to use a Claims company for this refund. Typically, they can charge fees of up to 40% of the refund on a success fee arrangement, they then apply 20% VAT and an administration fee amounting to a further 4%.
In one example, I saw a claims company writing to a 93-year-old requesting copy payslips to see if they were eligible for a refund. This caused anxiety for the person concerned and is clearly wrong.”
The benefit of the Marriage Allowance (MA) is that someone who does not use all their personal allowance can transfer the unused allowance to their partner who does pay tax, saving you tax overall as a couple.
The MA lets you transfer £1,260 of your personal allowance to your spouse or civil partner, reducing their tax bill by up to £252 per tax year. For a couple to be eligible, the lower earner should have a total income below the personal allowance, which is usually £12,570. The higher earner must pay tax at the basic rate of tax i.e., their income is between £12,571 and £50,270, before they receive the MA.”
You can backdate a claim for the MA by up to 4 tax years, so currently from 2019/20 onwards, even if your partner has passed away since this date.
It is completely free to apply for the MA by either:
Using HMRC’s online service. You will need to set up a Government Gateway account to claim online. Completing form MATCF, which is available online, and sending this to HMRC by post. Making a claim on your Self-Assessment tax returns if you are within Self-Assessment.
HMRC should transfer the allowance – and hence provide your partner with the tax relief – by either changing your partner’s tax code (which can take up to 2 months), so that they suffer less PAYE on their wages or pension on a going forward basis, or when you send in your Self-Assessment tax return.
“There is simply no need to use these companies to claim the allowance. They are charging for a service that is just not required.”
Would you like to know more?
If you would like to discuss any of the above issues please contact your usual Blick Rothenberg contact or Andrew Sanford using the form below.