9am Lowdown: Government's marriage tax break deemed ‘an utter flop’

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Good Morning. Today’s news round-up includes the conclusion to the Bury FC winding petition, the government’s Marriage tax allowance deemed a flop, and news from the AccountingWEB community.

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Marriage tax break is ‘utter flop’

The marriage tax allowance has only attracted 330,000 couples to apply since it has come into force in April which has prompted a Labour minister to describe the policy as an “utter flop”.

According to The Telegraph, only 8% of those eligible for the break have applied for the scheme. Marriage Allowance lets you transfer £1,060 of your Personal Allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner. The scheme has been criticised by the opposition who say the allowance doesn’t benefit the “vast majority of families”.

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow minister without portfolio said: "It's embarrassing for David Cameron and George Osborne that their flagship policy has been a complete and utter flop.”

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Bury winding order dropped

The London high court dismissed HMRC’s winding-up petition against Bury FC yesterday after hearing the club has paid their debt back in full.

HMRC launched legal action against the club over an unpaid £156,000 December tax bill. Bury FC’s chairman Stewart Day said in January that the unpaid bill was an “administrative error” and confirmed that it was paid in full seven days later.

As previously reported on AccountingWEB, Day voiced his frustration against HMRC. He said: “We continue to pay our bills, we continue to progress forward but they [HMRC] are trigger-happy with football clubs.”  

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Community: What are you doing now 31 Jan has passed?

Now the busy season stress has eased and all memories suppressed until next year, accountants are setting their sights on other endeavours to fill the lull, and they have revealed their plans on Any Answers.

Bernard Michael is “disengaging 5 clients who ignored 4 monthly reminders and failed to supply their SA information”. Meanwhile Glennzy is using his time to grapple with the latest PM software to make sure he’s utilising it to its full potential.  

Others are using this period to plan tax strategies for 2016/17, refresh their knowledge on software, or just ‘business as usual’.

What are you doing now the busy season has come and gone? Head across to Any Answers and let the AccountingWEB community know. 

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16th Feb 2016 09:27

Marriage tax allowance

The only reason it has flopped is because of the fact that it doesn't apply where one of the spouses is in higher rate. If it applied across the board, regardless of income, it would have a  better take up I'm sure.

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By MattG
16th Feb 2016 09:52

Wrong Marriage Allowance

You are referencing the wrong Marriage allowance.

The figures you've quoted and the page linked is the old "Married Couples Allowance" which is available to couples where at least one partner was born prior to 6th April 1935, an allowance that is slowly becoming one that a lot of us will only see in text books and exams.

The one you meant to reference is the "Marriage Allowance" - which only allows a maximum reduction in tax of £212:

https://www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance-guide

Thanks (1)

Thanks Matt!

MattG wrote:

You are referencing the wrong Marriage allowance.

The figures you've quoted and the page linked is the old "Married Couples Allowance" which is available to couples where at least one partner was born prior to 6th April 1935, an allowance that is slowly becoming one that a lot of us will only see in text books and exams.

The one you meant to reference is the "Marriage Allowance" - which only allows a maximum reduction in tax of £212:

https://www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance-guide

Thanks Matt G. I have now linked and referenced the correct married allowance.

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16th Feb 2016 09:53

I expect that more will take it up, as it becomes better publicised.

They have until 05 April 2021 to claim for 2016-17.  Only then will you be sure of the numbers.

With kind regards

Clint Westwood

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