Married couples failing to claim tax perk, says HMRC

couple getting married Image copyright Thinkstock

Less than a quarter of couples eligible for marriage tax allowance are bothering to claim it, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The allowance - introduced in April 2015 to incentivise marriage - is worth £220 in 2016/17.

However those eligible can also back-date a claim for last year, meaning £432 can be claimed in total.

Out of 4.2m couples who could claim that amount, only 1m have done so, despite an HMRC advertising campaign.

Marriage tax allowance lets one half of a married couple transfer part of their tax-free allowance to their partner.

However one of the partners must not be earning more than £11,000 - the personal allowance - while the other must be paying income tax at the basic rate.

A spokesman for HMRC said it takes less than five minutes to apply online.

"We don't know the reason why so few couples have taken up this allowance, but the fact is, it's a fairly quick and simple process and could save couples up to £430 - which can go a long way especially around this time of year," said Sam McFaul, a personal finance writer at

Anyone wanting to claim can go to this page.

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