Marriage allowance: new claims process

Marriage allowance. A recent update from HMRC on the marriage allowance transfer claim form (MATCF).

As a reminder, the marriage allowance allows married couples/civil partners, born after April 1935, to transfer 10% of their personal allowance if one partner earns an income below their personal allowance of £12,570 and the other partner is a basic rate taxpayer.

So, an individual can transfer £1,260 of their personal allowance to their higher-earning partner, to reduce the amount of tax they pay. This means couples can reduce the income tax they pay by up to £252 (i.e. £1,260 x 20%).

According to HMRC’s latest Agent Update, the new MATCF form is available to view now.

All agents submitting a MATCF repayment claim on behalf of their clients, and who are wanting to receive the repayment directly, will need to use the new form from 26 February 2024. The new form can be found on Apply for Marriage Allowance by post.

HMRC says that the previous versions of the MATCF claim form should have been used until the new version went live on 26 February 2024. Any new forms dated and submitted to HMRC before 26 February 2024 will be rejected.

HMRC has also warned that, from 26 February 2024 onwards, form MATCF needs to be submitted on paper to HMRC exactly as it prints out on GOV.UK. The form should not be amended or changed. However, HMRC has added that,

“…if it is absolutely essential for your internal processes (for example, you need to add a company logo or bar code reference to the form to connect it to your own systems) you may replicate, print and submit the form. You can only make changes in the white space at the top of the form. Any other changes or additions outside of the white space at the top of the form will result in the claim being rejected and returned to the agent, who will need to submit again using the correct format.”

The updated claim form includes:

  • a question to ask if the taxpayer is nominating a professional that charges a fee for their services to act on their behalf;
  • a space to capture the nominated agent’s Agent Reference Number (if an agent is acting on behalf of a client).

From 26 February 2024, anyone making a claim on behalf of others, or wanting to receive a repayment on behalf of their client, will need to provide their Agent Reference Number when submitting a MATCF form. There is a required field to complete the Agent Reference Number. Failure to add the Agent Reference Number to the designated nomination section on or after 26 February 2024 will result in repayments for valid claims being paid directly to the taxpayer, not the nominated third party.

Clients will also need to have completed the section which informs HMRC whether they are nominating a professional to act on their behalf for the purposes of the repayment claim. Failure to select ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ in the appropriate section could also result in repayments for valid claims being paid directly to the taxpayer, not the nominated third party.

This is all part of an effort by HMRC to prevent taxpayers from being charged excessive fees to obtain small tax repayment claims. Please see our earlier Bulletin. Similar changes also apply to claims for a tax refund for work related expenses, using form P87. Please see: Claim tax relief for your job expenses if you cannot claim online.

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