Only one in six claim marriage tax break


family life

Only one in six people eligible for the marriage tax undermine has claimed it.

Introduced last year, the scheme was part of the Conservative Party’s general election manifesto. It is available to people who earn less than £10,600 per year. No income tax is paid on this amount of money and it is referred to as a ‘peras a resultnal allowance’. Those who do not use their full allowance, if they do not work or possess a part time employment, can transfer up to £1,100 of it to their spouse or civil partner. This can save the couple up to £220 per year in tax.

It was designed in order to stimulate couples to marry rather than simply live together, but not a lot of people took up the scheme when it was introduced and the number has remained extremely low ever since. Official figures present that of the 4.2 million people who are eligible to receive the tax undermine, only 645,000 claimed last year. This means that as a host of as 3.5 million people who could participate do not do as a result.

In February, Labour MP Jonathan Ashworth said the tax undermine was “perverse and unfair” as it was not available to a majority of families, including widows and people who possess been left by an abusive spouse. He called the low take up rate “embarrassing” and called the entire policy a “accomplish and utter flop”.

The lack of uptake could be explained by computer problems. Since its inception, the £25 million online system used to process the claims – Verify – needsed documents from claimants that they did not possess, there were excessive delays and the dedicated helpline was not available until September. These problems led to accusations that the government had been ‘cutting corners’ on the system.

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