UK Politics

Marriage tax allowance registration opens

A couple exchanging rings at their wedding Image copyright Getty Images

A scheme to offer tax breaks to some married couples and civil partners has opened for registration.

The marriage allowance, unveiled by David Cameron in 2013, could reduce a couple's annual tax bill by up to £212.

It only applies to couples with one basic rate taxpayer and the other earning less than the personal allowance.

David Cameron said marriage should be recognised in the tax system, because families are the "bedrock" of society.

He also said the measure would help families with the cost of living.

Tax breaks for married couples were promised by Mr Cameron when he ran for the leadership of his party in 2005, and it also featured in the Conservatives' 2010 election manifesto.

Labour has pledged to scrap the allowance, which it says will not apply to most married couples, and use the money to introduce a 10p starting rate of tax.

'Out of touch'

The allowance - which will enable one spouse or civil partner to transfer some of their tax-free personal allowance to the other - will come into effect on 6 April 2015.

The Conservatives have said stay-at-home parents and people who worked part-time would be the main winners from the move.

Under the policy, if a spouse or civil partner's income is less than £10,600 - including pensions, savings and investments - they will be able to share up to £1,060 of their personal allowance with their partner, provided the recipient does not earn more than £42,385 a year.

Couples born on or after 6 April 1935 can register online to receive their interest to receive the allowance.

From April, HM Revenue & Customs will contact those who have registered their interest, and invite them to apply.

The idea of a marriage tax break has been opposed by the Conservatives' coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, who say it will penalise unmarried couples.

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