Marriage Tax Allowance Claims – Couple’s Can Claim Back £1,000’s

Marriage Tax Allowance Claims – Could You Cut £900 From Your Tax Bill This Year?

If you’ve never claimed the marriage tax allowance the back pay could leave you almost £1,000 better off this year. Here’s how:

According to HMRC figures and a BBC report, there were just over 4 million couples in the UK (either married of in civil partnerships) who could have claimed the ‘marriage allowance’ last year. Yet, since it launched in 2015, only 2.2 million have done. So if you’re one of the people who hasn’t looked into it because you don’t know about it or you assume you won’t be eligible, it’s time to take a closer look.

What Is The Married Couple’s Allowance?

One of the longest standing and biggest financial frustrations of being in a partnership is when one of you earns less than the current personal tax allowance threshold, but you can’t transfer any of that surplus allowance to your partner.

But in 2015 there was a change. From 2015 onwards, you’ve been able to take 10% of your tax allowance and give it to your spouse/partner in a marriage allowance transfer.

Married Person’s Tax Allowance – An Example

Suppose you’re a teaching assistant. You earn about £9,000 a year, but the personal tax allowance 2017/2018 was £11,500. So that’s £2,500 extra you could have earned tax free, but you didn’t because your wages just aren’t that high.

Until 2015, you’d have lost all the benefit of that £2,500 of personal tax allowance.

Now, you can transfer up to 10% of tax allowance to your partner, providing you haven’t used it.

So in this case, you’d be able to give your partner £1,150 of your tax allowance. That means they wouldn’t have to pay tax on an extra £1,150 of income, over and above their own existing personal tax allowance. That would be worth £230.

Do We Qualify?

As you might expect, there are a few conditions to claiming these marriage tax benefits:

  • You must be married or in a civil partnership. If you’re ‘unofficially’ living together – even if you’ve been living together for decades – you won’t qualify for the HMRC marriage allowance
  • One of you needs to be earning less than the current tax allowance threshold
  • The other needs to be paying tax at 20%. If you’re in a higher tax bracket, you won’t be eligible for the married couple’s tax allowance
  • It doesn’t matter whether you are employed or self-employed

 

If The Marriage Tax Allowance Was Worth £230 Last Year, Where Does The £900 Figure Come From?

The great thing about the HMRC marriage allowance is you can backdate it to 2015, or as far back as you meet the criteria. Obviously, you’ll need to have been in a marriage or civil partnership from the point you claim, and you’ll also need to have satisfied the income requirements each year since then to claim the full backdated amount.

Each year, the personal allowance changes, so the amount you could have claimed has changed too. In 2015 it was worth £212. The personal tax allowance 2016-2017 was £11,000, so the marriage allowance was worth £220, then £230 and in 2018 its value rises to £238. Add those together and you reach a total in excess of £900.

As long as one of you continues to earn less than the personal tax allowance and the other remains below the higher tax bracket, you’ll continue to benefit from a £200+ marriage tax boost each year.

It’s also worth remembering that the married couple’s tax allowance can be backdated even if your partner has died since 2015.

How Do We Apply?

This part’s crucial: the person who needs to apply is the lowest earner (i.e. the person transferring part of their personal tax allowance).

You can apply online and it’s a simple process: you’ll just need the National Insurance numbers for you and your partner, and proof of identity.

Once you have submitted your application you’ll get an email to confirm your application has been received and another to confirm the HMRC’s decision. As long as you remain eligible for the marriage tax allowance, you’ll continue to have 10% of your tax allowance transferred to your partner each year.

What If I Earn Less Than My Tax Allowance, But Not 10% Less?

A curious quirk of the marriage allowance transfer rules means that you can transfer all of it, or none of it, but you can’t transfer a part of it. Even so, it may still be worthwhile doing even if your wages creep over the threshold.

Let’s go back to our teaching assistant, who this year is working a few extra hours and has had a pay rise to boot, bringing earnings to £11,000. The personal tax allowance this year is £11,850, and once again 10% of it is transferable.

£11,850 – £1,185 (10%) leaves a new personal tax allowance for this year of £10,665, so there’s now a gap of £335 between earnings and personal allowance. That amount will be taxable, and at 20% that will mean tax deductions of £67.

The benefit to the partner, however, is £238 and you don’t have to be a maths whizz to work out that on that basis the marriage couples’ allowance is something that’s still very much worth doing.

What Happens If My Wage Fluctuates Month To Month?

The key calculation is the amount you and your partner earn in a year. So if you do some extra shifts that give you a bumper month it doesn’t matter as long as the total for the year remains below the tax allowance threshold. Similarly, as long as you remain within the 20% tax bracket for the year, it doesn’t matter that, for a couple of months, you earned what would otherwise be a higher tax rate income.

Naturally, neither you nor HMRC will know for sure how much you and your partner have earned in a year until the year is done. If it turns out that you owe HMRC money, they’ll recover it through self-assessment or payroll.

If you’ve not considered applying for married couples tax allowance before and you think you might qualify, do it now. It could save you hundreds of pounds.

Who Needs A Public Liability Insurance?

If you own a business, protection is paramount, and we’re not just talking about the locks on the doors or the security system you use for surveillance. People will need to be protected as well, both the staff you employ and the customers who come through the door and keep your business, in business.

What is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance helps protect your business against claims brought against it by third parties. This can involve those who have suffered personal injury or damage to their property due to your neglect or as a result of a mishap on your premises – usually a slip, trip or fall – which can be costly to your business if you’ve not taken precautions.

Who can bring a claim against me?

Customers who have suffered an injury while on your premises, either due to a mistake by one of your staff or as a result of a trip or fall caused by a wet or poorly maintained floor.

Another example could be if a visitor to your site; a salesperson or contractor we’ll say, suffers injury or damage to property due to a trip caused by loose wires or cracks on the floor, which then leads to damage to their person or to the equipment they might be carrying.

In these cases, public liability insurance can help protect your business against costly claims. Depending on the incident, you’re likely to be chased for compensation to cover medical costs or damage to equipment, so it’s worth making sure you are covered.

What protection does it offer?

Public liability insurance will provide cover for a range of different costs brought forward as a result of claims, these can include:

  • Legal expenses
  • Costs of repairs as a result of flood damage caused by your negligence – for example causing damage to a clients’ property or possessions as a result of a mistake during your duties, which may lead to water damage.
  • Costs of compensation brought against you by a third-party for injuries sustained or for damage to property. This can cover your premises, a customer site, or many others.
  • Hospital treatment costs brought against you by the NHS to provide treatment.
  • Other expenses that are deemed reasonable to claim

Is there anything that’s not covered by the policy?

Public liability insurance does not offer the insurer any personal protection, against damage to their own property nor any claims brought against them by their staff members Such claims will be covered by employers liability insurance and general business insurance policies.

Does my business need it?

Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement for your business, unlike employers’ liability insurance, which offers protection against claims brought against you by staff members who may become ill or injure themselves while working for you.

No matter what your business, if your work involves members of the public – whether it’s providing a service or simply performing at an event – public liability insurance can be useful since it would protect you should anything happen during your period of business.

In some cases, it is better to over-insure your business to further protect yourself against future incidents than to leave yourself short in the event of multiple claims.

RELATED: Why Do I Need Public Liability Insurance?

How much will it cost me to cover my business?

There is a wide network of brokers who offer public liability insurance policies of varying degrees of cover to suit your business. Talk to your insurer and discuss in detail what type of cover you want for your business.

All these insurances, which one does my business need?

It can be worth having all three of the insurances mentioned in this guide against your business to ensure all your bases are covered in the event of a claim. Be aware that, while your policy may come down depending on how high an excess you want to set, you must ensure you can cover the cost of the excess should you need to claim.

Our Tips:

  • Public liability insurance covers you against claims made by third- parties.
  • Unlike employers’ liability insurance, public liability insurance is not a legal requirement.
  • You decide how much excess to put against a policy, setting it higher could mean a cheaper premium.

What is a Business Insurance?

A business insurance is necessary if you run a company of your own, and you could be violating the law without it. Here is a guide on how business insurance works.

How does it work?

If you experience financial loss while carrying out your business activities, it can pay out a cover for:

Employment disputesStock
Professional indemnityProperty damage

Public liability
Tools and machinery

Legal expenses
Equipment

It decreases uncertainty since your business can continue to operate if something goes wrong.

You can avail basic policies that are designed for self-employed tradesmen or professionals; or more comprehensive cover for bigger companies and franchises.

Think about what your business requires and try to look for a package policy that can cover everything. You can look for a policy by:

  • Going directly to an insurer
  • Using an online comparison
  • Discussing your needs with a broker

What types are there?

The different types of insurance that safeguard your liability as a business include:

  • Employers’ liability: Pays out if you need to compensate your employees, if they die or if they are injured as a consequence of working for you.
  • Public and product liability: Pays out if a third party or their property is damaged or injured because of your business activities.
  • Professional indemnity: Pays out if a client accuses you of damages that result from your professional advice (e.g. if you are an accountant or a solicitor).
  • Legal expenses: Covers legal fees for court proceedings including tax disputes with HMRC, or employment tribunals.

The types of insurance that safeguard your commercial premises and its contents include:

  • Business interruption: Covers any financial losses that you experience as a result of not being able to trade, due to property damage. For example, if your store is flooded.
  • Commercial property cover: Covers damage to your building, contents and any stock that your business owns.
  • Goods in transit: Covers damage, theft, or loss of your business property while it is being transferred from one place to another.

You can avail package policies that allow you to combine various types of business insurance, and you can choose to cover more than one business on a policy.

Do you need it?

According to the law, you need to have certain types of business insurance. For example, if you employ voluntary or paid staff, you must have an employers’ liability insurance policy.

There are also some professions where it is mandatory for you to have a professional indemnity insurance, like insurance brokers and financial advisers.

Other types of business insurance are voluntary, but you should examine property cover if you have a mortgage or long-term lease on commercial premises.

How much does it cost?

The price you pay for business insurance will depend on:

  • Your annual turnover
  • The type of business you run
  • The size of your premises
  • How many employees you have
  • The level of cover you need

Once you have determined what cover your business demands, shop around and compare quotes to discover the most competitive policy.

How to make a claim

If you wish to claim on your business insurance, immediately contact your insurer and give them as much information as possible.

Most business insurers run a 24-hour claims helpline. However, they may wish to visit you before they settle your claim to discuss the matter in detail.