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An easy way to find £900?

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New statistics from HMRC found that as many as 700,000 married/civil partnership couples aren’t claiming their marriage allowance, worth £238 per year.

More than 3.5 million couples are signed up to receive their marriage allowance, introduced in April 2015, but hundreds of thousands of couples are yet to claim. The allowance can be backdated if it hasn’t been claimed in previous years, meaning couples could receive a lump-sum of up to £900.

However, with the average cost of a wedding at £27,161 (source: Hitched), it probably isn’t worth getting married just for the allowance. However, in the 2018 budget, the government asked the Law Commission to investigate ways to give couples more choice on how they get married. This will include looking at reducing unnecessary red tape and lowering the cost of wedding venues.

Couples that are married or in a civil partnership are eligible for the allowance if they do not pay income tax or their income is below your Personal Allowance (usually £11,850) or their partner pays income tax at the basic rate, which usually means their income is between £11,851 and £46,350
When the personal tax allowance increases to £12,500 in April 2019, eligible couples will be able to transfer up to £1,250 of allowance from the lower income to the higher income earner – reducing their tax by up to £250 a year.

Couples can apply to receive their marriage allowance through the government website. There is no need to reapply for Marriage Allowance every year because it is automatically renewed. However, couples should notify HMRC if their circumstances change and they want to cancel it.

Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “It is encouraging to see so many people taking advantage of the tax relief. Married couples who are yet to sign up for this great scheme – you too can benefit – it is quick to register and any back-dated allowances will be paid as a lump-sum.”

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