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Do we have a professional responsibility to inform workers about the Marriage Allowance?

If there was a new tax break available to me, I would want to grab it with both hands. So, as UK professionals, should we have advised employees about the Marriage Allowance when it came into being in 2015?

Ian   Holloway
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Ian   Holloway
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If there was a new tax break available to me, I would want to grab it with both hands. So, as UK professionals, should we have advised employees about the Marriage Allowance when it came into being in 2015?

 

This is the allowance where an eligible couple (and married or in a civil partnership) can transfer up to 10% of the value of the Personal Allowance between themselves.

 

It’s a very difficult one, as we are not tax advisors, nor do we wish to be seen as such. However, given that a recent Freedom of Information request by the Royal London suggested that only 2.2 million couples of the estimated 4.2 million have made the Marriage Allowance claim, I do wonder if we should have promoted this. There is a plethora of information available on the Gov.uk website and, if nothing else, it should not be difficult to advise employees to do their own research.

 

Similarly, if there was a change to a tax break then I would hope I would be made aware of it. Such is the case with the above Marriage Allowance and the change that came into effect form 29 November 2017. From this date, if a spouse or civil partner has died on or after 6 April 2015 and a claim for the allowance has not been made previously by the surviving partner, one can be made retrospectively. Given that we are talking about, potentially, £662 in the pockets of our employees, should we not make them aware?

 

Maybe a little financial pointer to the Gov.uk website or, in the case of the backdated Marriage Allowance, a call to the Income Tax Helpline would help the profile of the payroll department. Communication and education costs little but can gain plenty.

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