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Married couples urged to check tax returns as they could have overpaid

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Couples who claimed the Marriage Allowance in 2018/19 and who have already submitted a tax return are urged to check calculations as they may have overpaid.

A glitch in HMRC’s Self-Assessment system ran between April 2019 and was only fixed on 21 January 2020.

This meant that Marriage Allowance claims were omitted from people’s Self-Assessment tax returns so they could have overpaid tax.

The Marriage Allowance lets a non-taxpayer transfer part of their personal allowance to a husband/wife/civil partner who is a basic rate taxpayer.

As it increases the recipient’s personal allowance, this means they can earn more before being taxed.

In the 2018/19 tax year, the Marriage Allowance was worth £238. For the current 2019/20 tax year, up to £1,250 can be passed on, meaning a tax cut of £250.

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group urges married couples to check their calculations if a tax return was submitted before the glitch was fixed on 21 January.

Victoria Todd, head of the LITRG team, said: “There was a glitch in HMRC’s system until this month that meant the recipients of the tax reduction did not see this in their Self-Assessment tax calculation for 2018/19 when they used HMRC’s online system to file their tax return.

“HMRC has been working behind the scenes to issue amended calculations to those affected and we urge taxpayers to check their calculations and make sure the tax reduction has been included.

“Some taxpayers may already have made their tax payments, due by 31 January 2020, and have overpaid due to HMRC’s error. Such taxpayers will receive a tax repayment within four weeks and should contact HMRC if they do not.”

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