Marriage Allowance can be a great way to boost one’s retirement fund by a couple of hundred pounds each year but viewers on Rip Off Britain found that this process is not always straightforward. Some couples have ended up paying hundreds of pounds for a tax break that should have been free.
David and Bernice Murrow were looking forward to this boost from the government but found that they had deducted 42 percent for their administration and VAT, due to having applied via an external company, rather than directly to HMRC.
Mr Murrow had found that he could make a potential saving of £250 a year in the form of the Marriage Allowance, which was introduced in 2015.
It allows the higher earning partner in a marriage or civil partnership to transfer up to £1,250 of their personal allowance, tax free, to their other half.
Additionally, as it was backdated to 2016, it meant the couple were owed a fair amount.
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Mr Murrow said: “To think that I would be paying a little less on my company pension was great.
“It was a lot, it would make a fair difference to our way of life.”
David filled out a form with all of this details to qualify for the Marriage Allowance, however he later found out that he had completed this on an unofficial website and the company did not work with HMRC.
The company eventually wrote him a letter saying that they were deducting money for their services.
Mr Murrow was left with £497.78, following a deduction of £401.
Mr Murrow said: “I assumed they were doing it on behalf of HMRC, the form and letter that accompanied it referred to HMRC on a number of occasions.”
Sadly, there is a clause on the company’s website that Mr Murrow missed which does state there is a 42 percent administration deduction which users of the site will face.
Mr Murrow continued: “It was my own fault, but they should have made it more obvious.”
Sharon Kane from the West Midlands was also left with a huge dent in the allowance owed to her.
She had filled out the form on the same website Mr Murrow used.
She said: “The amount I should have got was £1,618, the amount I actually got was £914.44.
“This money was really important to me as I could have bought myself a mobility scooter and it makes me feel devastated.
“I have arthritis and some days I can’t walk very far so a mobility bike would have come in useful.”
Representatives from the company told Rip Off Britain that the website was now closed, however it helped many customers recover thousands of pounds that was owed to them that would have otherwise remained with the Treasury.
The company also insisted that the fees deductible were made clear on the website and in communication with customers. These customers then had to confirm they had read all their terms and conditions before registering.
Despite all of this, the company said “it will reach out to those affected to try and resolve any issues”.
Many other similar sites are available to register for Marriage Tax Allowance, so Britons are urged to take care when filling out these forms to ensure it is the official Gov.uk website to prevent incurring any additional costs.