Tax return filers urged to check for Marriage Allowance error

HMRC say a glitch in their system that omitted Marriage Allowance claims from people’s Self Assessment tax calculations is fixed. Now LITRG is urging people who filed their 2018/19 tax return before 21 January using HMRC’s online system to check their calculation to ensure the Marriage Allowance claim was included in order that they do not overpay tax.

The Marriage Allowance is claimable where one spouse or civil partner does not get full use of their personal allowance. That spouse or civil partner can give up £1,250 of their allowance (for 2019/20; £1,190 for 2018/19) and their spouse or civil partner then obtains a tax reduction of £250 (for 2019/20; £238 for 2018/19). Neither spouse should pay tax at a rate higher than the basic rate (or Scottish intermediate rate, if applicable) before the transfer takes place.

There has been a glitch in HMRC’s Self Assessment system since April 2019 and it was fixed only on 21 January 2020.

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 have 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.”

Notes for editors

Low Incomes Tax Reform Group

The LITRG is an initiative of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) to give a voice to the unrepresented. Since 1998 LITRG has been working to improve the policy and processes of the tax, tax credits and associated welfare systems for the benefit of those on low incomes.

The CIOT is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT is an educational charity, promoting education and study of the administration and practice of taxation. One of our key aims is to work for a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, their advisers and the authorities. The CIOT’s work covers all aspects of taxation, including direct and indirect taxes and duties. The CIOT’s 18,000 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’, to represent the leading tax qualification.

Contact: Hamant Verma, External Relations Officer, 0207 340 2702

Out of hours contact: George Crozier, 07740 477 374)