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HM Revenue & Customs is struggling to add up!

It got its sums wrong on the number of individuals taking up the tax break for married couples after it counted claimants more than once.

New data reveals that less than half of those eligible are benefiting.

In June last year the Treasury stated 3m couples were taking advantage of the marriage allowance. To benefit as a couple, you (as the lower earner) must normally have an income below your Personal Allowance – this is usually £12,500.

On Thursday HMRC admitted it had miscalculated the total to the tune of more than 1m. The real number of claimants was likely to be below 1.8m for the 2018-19 tax year.

HMRC said it had inflated the figures by counting the same claimant multiple times.

Oops.

Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London, said: “It is shocking that HMRC have got these figures so badly wrong. This time last year, ministers were boasting that 3m couples were benefiting from this tax break. “Now it turns out that fewer than 2m are actually getting help, and that more than half of those who are entitled are missing out.

HMRC urgently needs to do more to alert families who could benefit so that everyone who is entitled to help receives it.”

No one has missed out yet as eligible couples have until 5 April 2020 to seek backdated claims for every year including 2015-16.

You can claim here https://www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance/how-to-apply

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