HMRC has suggested that Valentine's Day is an appropriate time to take up the marriage allowance.
If one partner in a marriage or civil partnership has income of less than £12,500 a year, they can transfer one tenth of that allowance to their partner. That means that the partner in effect has an allowance of £13,750.
The scheme only applies for basic rate taxpayers, so the maximum benefit is £250 a year. Claims can be backdated four years. A claim made by 5 April 2020 is effective going back to the 2016/17 tax year. Once made a claim is automatically renewed for the following tax year until the taxpayer notifies HMRC that it no longer applies.
In Scotland, it may be claimed by a taxpayer who pays at the starter, basic or intermediate rate.
HMRC claims that it takes about two minutes to make the claim online.
So far, 1.78 million couples have claimed out of an estimated 4 million who are believed to be eligible.