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Marriage Allowance Claims Company Shocker - Beware

Advised Client's Spouse to Claim to Transfer Marriage Allowance Online - Did Not Anticipate This One

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Advised pensioner client to ask wife to go online and make HMRC claim to transfer marriage allowance to him. Aging client said he was well up to doing stuff online!!!

After client's wife received "HMRC" letter with "HMRC" form to sign, I asked client to ensure claim form was signed correctly before he sent it on to HMRC.

AT VIRTUALLY THE LAST SECOND  I asked client to send the completed marriage allowance claim form to me to check......just in case.

Glad I did so. The "HMRC" claims form was in fact from a Marriage Allowance Claims company. The signed form LEGALLY ASSIGNS the tax repayment to the claims company. A check on the Internet reveals that the claims company charges 50% of the tax repayment for the privilege of making what is the most simple of claims.

Client is oblivious to what he almost did. And maybe I would have been 1% responsible.

I really should have filled in form 575 myself. Think I will do that now. (Sorry, wrong form - see my correction to form 575 below).

Replies (18)

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RLI
By lionofludesch
11th May 2020 14:51

There's some sharks about. I may go back to doing it on paper too.

Thanks (3)
Replying to lionofludesch:
By penelope pitstop
11th May 2020 17:42

Just noticed my error. Form 575 appears to relate only to the transfer of:

a) Married Couple's Allowance for those born before 6 April 1935, and

b) Blind Person's Allowance.

So far, I have been unable to find any form to claim Marriage Allowance. The only other alternative I can find so far is to phone the HMRC Marriage Allowance phone number on

0300 200 3300

Thanks (0)
Replying to penelope pitstop:
RLI
By lionofludesch
11th May 2020 18:00

penelope pitstop wrote:

Just noticed my error. Form 575 appears to relate only to the transfer of:

a) Married Couple's Allowance for those born before 6 April 1935, and

b) Blind Person's Allowance.

So far, I have been unable to find any form to claim Marriage Allowance. The only other alternative I can find so far is to phone the HMRC Marriage Allowance phone number on

0300 200 3300

Letter.

Thanks (1)
Replying to lionofludesch:
By penelope pitstop
11th May 2020 18:34

Thanks, but what a pain. Having to get a 64-8 in place to deal with the Marriage Allowance claim for the client's wife (i.e. the one with the tiny state pension income only).

I am going to send the HMRC link by email to client for his wife to apply for the transfer.

Thanks (0)
Replying to penelope pitstop:
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By jvenegas16
11th May 2020 18:46

The process is very simple, but remind them that it can be backdated too. So she can claim not just for the current year but also for previous years and must say yes to that as she goes through on the screen.

Thanks (2)
Replying to jvenegas16:
By penelope pitstop
11th May 2020 18:48

Husband is higher rate for all years bar 2019/20. So it will be claimed for one year only. For 2020/21 he is back into higher rate tax.

Thanks (0)
Replying to penelope pitstop:
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By Rgab1947
15th May 2020 09:44

Wish my wife was a high tax rate payer. I could retire then!

Thanks (0)
Replying to penelope pitstop:
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By sammerchant
16th May 2020 10:07

I got the clients to telephone HMRC, having provided them with a script and having told them what information to have ready. Worked very well.

Thanks (1)
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By emanresu
11th May 2020 15:22

There's a LOT of this about.

There's a non-trivial fraction of the victims who refuse to accept that they've been conned, too !

Those who have been conned need to get in touch with HMRC asap - as the letter they sign usually gives the agent powers over more than just MAT claims.

Thanks (2)
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By jvenegas16
11th May 2020 16:48

Do it online

Thanks (0)
Replying to jvenegas16:
RLI
By lionofludesch
11th May 2020 16:54

jvenegas16 wrote:

Do it online

The problem with that is that, quite often, the agent only acts for one party to the marriage. More often than not, the wrong one.

Thanks (2)
Replying to jvenegas16:
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By emanresu
11th May 2020 19:12

jvenegas16 wrote:

Do it online

That is what the saps usually do !

The fake HMRC sites are quite deceptive.

Thanks (1)
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By bernard michael
12th May 2020 09:15

I'd make sure the client was no longer oblivious as he's obviously intelligent

Thanks (2)
By Paul D Utherone
12th May 2020 10:40

A few years back I had a colleague ask me about his tax return. He:
- searched for HMRC tax returns in Google,
- picked the first link (believing it to be for HMRC),
- filled in income details and submitted his return
- paid what he believed to be the liability as shown by the site; and
- was then surprised to receive demands from HMRC 'because he had already paid the liability'

Turned out the link he had chosen was for an Online TR completion firm whose site used similar colours & fonts, and the 'tax' he had paid was actually their fee.

This was a few years back and Google were supposed to have changed the way that such sites appeared in search results so that GOV.UK appeared first and not the money grabbers

Thanks (1)
Replying to Paul D Utherone:
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By Cheshire
12th May 2020 10:51

Gov.uk definitely not appearing first these days. They need to re-up their game.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Cheshire:
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By David Warren 2905
15th May 2020 10:57

The Gov.Uk site is top of the search I did...but 4 down as paid adverts get in the way. It is Google's paid adverts that seem to to be the problem here.

Thanks (1)
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By hbelton
12th May 2020 11:53

The daughter of a client of mine fell for a similar thing for a simple fixed expenses allowance claim.
By appointing the firm and mandating the refund to them the authority for all future repayments perhaps in which they have had no involvement stays in place until it is revoked.

Thanks (1)
7om
By Tom 7000
15th May 2020 12:57

This all seems like a lot of faff. Are you charging 50% of the refund as your fee to compensate for your time :) :)

Thanks (0)
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