Fear as claim firms target married couples over tax rebate

Married couples eligible for tax rebate being warned to watch out for fresh spate of claims companies, charging to make application available for free

Rebate: Couples can apply for free for the Marriage Allowance

Married couples who are eligible for a tax rebate are being warned to watch out for a fresh spate of claims companies, which charge to make an application that is available for free.

Couples who are married or in a civil partnership can apply for free for the Marriage Allowance, which is a tax break worth up to £252 a year. It allows a low earner in a couple to transfer up to £1,260 of their annual tax-free allowance to the higher earner. 

The higher earner must earn between £12,571 and £50,270 to qualify. Claims can be backdated to April 5, 2018 – so a couple could currently request up to £1,008 in a single claim. 

But a growing number of firms are offering to make applications on behalf of couples – and cream off as much as 42 per cent as a fee.

In some cases, the firms set up official-looking websites to trick couples into believing they are going through the Revenue & Customs service. 

Making a claim is straightforward and does not require third-party assistance. They can be made directly on the Revenue & Customs website in just a few minutes and with no charge.

National Trading Standards has an ‘eCrime’ team that monitors misleading websites. A spokesman says: ‘These websites are deceiving people into spending over the odds for a Government service that is free.’

You should only ever use the official Revenue & Customs website to make a claim. Visit gov.uk or phone 0300 200 3300.

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