Mixed reaction to tax break for married couples

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Nick Huber
Freelance journalist
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David Cameron’s plan for some married couples to get tax breaks worth up to £200 has been cautiously welcomed and ridiculed by newspapers, pressure groups, and AccountingWEB members.

The PM’s proposal for some married couples to get tax breaks worth up to £200 a year was one of the main new policies at this week’s Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

"Marriage is a good thing for our country – it’s the ultimate form of commitment under the law – and we want to show our support for it,” Cameron wrote in the Daily Mail.

Around four million couples, including 15,000 couples in civil partnerships, would benefit from a £1,000 transferable tax allowance from 2015, Cameron said.

The tax break will apply if...

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By ann1987
01st Oct 2013 18:31

Tax break for Married couples

Big deal. My husband is out of work but we can't use this so called tax break but we still have the same costs. We can't get any other benefit for that matter because we saved and were sensible. Actually I would much prefer legislation that really has teach to put and end to ageism. How can a qualified IT/engineer, scrum master be unemployable @ 55. 


Thanks (0)
02nd Oct 2013 11:55

Tax simplification?

So much for tax simplification.

Thanks (1)
02nd Oct 2013 13:23

More complicated than you thought!

This is just some of the comment from the ICAEW Tax Faculty - 

We understand that the measure will be brought in from 2015 to 2016, and couples will benefit from summer 2016. We are not sure how this will work in practice – presumably there will be a mechanism to give the relief for 2015/16 in retrospect. We can also see other potential practical difficulties – eg, will the allowance be included in taxpayers’ already crowded PAYE codes, based on estimated income for the year? How will it be withdrawn if the transferee spouse becomes a higher rate taxpayer?


Thanks (0)
02nd Oct 2013 12:11

Utter Shock!!

A pointless headline grabbing nonsense - who would have thought that from the Conservatives??!!!!!

Thanks (4)
02nd Oct 2013 12:17

Sarcasm, I hope

tazmaniandevil wrote:

A pointless headline grabbing nonsense - who would have thought that from the Conservatives??!!!!!

I, for one, would

Thanks (1)
02nd Oct 2013 12:17

tax break for married couples/partners

About 40 years ago it was proposed that - where one person of a couple did not use all their tax allowance in one tax year - they could transfer their unused tax allowance to their partner for the following year.  This seems a simple and straightforward methodology which would encourage people to actively take charge of their tax affairs. I seem to remember it was a Tory group which came up with the idea ....

Thanks (0)
02nd Oct 2013 16:55

Come on David

you can do better than that. What about the first £10k of corporate profits free of tax as long as the shareholders are married? That would really be a vote winner.

Thanks (0)
02nd Oct 2013 17:12

Oh good grief!

The thought of the admin & complexity involved makes me shudder.  Not only will those eligible have to claim it, some will lose it due to straying into higher rates and also because the lower earning spouse unexpectedly uses their allowance themselves. So there will be a clawback mechanism, will it be tapered as well?

£800m not well spent.

Anyone would think that there is an election on the horizon! 

Thanks (2)
03rd Oct 2013 08:29


This proposal is insane!

Thanks (0)
03rd Oct 2013 15:45

Tax is tax is tax

Tax raises money for government.

Generally speaking, whenever governments use it as a way of cajoling people to do 'the right thing'  (save the planet, stop boozing, invent stuff, and now get married) it fails for a multiplicity of reasons.  I can't see this being any different.

If I decide to act in a responsible and moral way, then I'll be motivated by my ethics and my conscience.

Tax is tax is tax.

Thanks (1)
04th Oct 2013 09:23

Well said Andrew!

If Mr Cameron thinks that people will be swayed into marriage by the thought of being £3.85 pw better off then maybe a dose of reality is required.

Thanks (1)