Tax breaks for married couples scheduled for 2015

Family|News|December 8th 2013

A tax break for married couples will be introduced at the beginning of the 2015-16 financial year, the government has confirmed.

The Marriage Tax Allowance will benefit more than four million couples, it claimed, as well around 15,000 couples in civil partnerships. Couples in which one member does not work or works only part time can transfer the unused part of their tax free allowance (the amount they can earn without paying tax) to their partner, cutting their overall tax liability. Their husband or wife must be a basic rate tax payer.

Introducing the measure, Chancellor George Osborne said the Marriage Tax Allowance was “just a start” and that it would be linked to the rate of personal allowance. He told MPs:

“We will introduce a new uprating mechanism that ensures that the new married couples tax allowance is automatically increased in proportion to the personal allowance.”

He added:

“Four million families will benefit, many of them among the poorest working families in our country. This measure, along with the others…ensures that across this parliament our policies are progressive — showing we’re all in this together, with the very rich paying the most.”

Lower income families who benefit from the allowance could lose benefit payments as a result, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) warned.

“The Marriage Tax Allowance adds further complexity to an already complicated tax system that tax payers struggle to deal with,” Anita Monteith of ICAEW added.

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  1. davidmortimermiltonkeynes says:

    Blair rules out tax breaks as way to solve problems facing poorest

    David Cameron’s promise of tax breaks for married couples is a “misdiagnosis” of the problems facing society, Tony Blair said yesterday.

    The spate of recent shootings in south London exposed the government’s failure to tackle the bottom 2% of the population, which needed very early intervention to address their problems, the prime minister said at his monthly Downing Street press conference.

    “The debate is about how you target measures specifically on those families, some of whom will be lone parents but some of whom will be couples,” he said. “The issue is whether you’ve got this generalised social breakdown, which I dispute, or whether in actual fact what you have is a specific problem with specific families that have been left behind by the general system.”

    The Conservative leader has argued for support for marriage in the tax system. But Alan Johnson, the education secretary, said yesterday in a speech that family policy must be “bias-free”.

    Mr Blair said the problem was not about marriage versus lone parents. “If you end up saying there is a general problem then you can talk about tax breaks for marriage, extra money on tax credits, extra child benefit. All of those would help all families. If your actual worry are those families down at the bottom who are completely shut out from society’s mainstream, we are kidding ourselves if we think those policies are going to help.”

    Mr Blair signalled his support for welfare reforms, modelled on a project in Dundee, where tenants are given social housing on condition of good behaviour. “You will need to go further in terms of making it clear that if, for example, people are getting a large amount of benefit from the state … [and] are causing problems for broader society, then you’re prepared to say to them, ‘look this is the something for something bargain’. I believe that is the way to develop policy.”

    He denied that opinion polls in the Guardian and the Independent over the last week showing the Tories with a 11-point lead meant that he was leaving an unwinnable position for his successor.

    Mr Blair also defended private equity firms but he backed calls for Premiership football clubs to reduce their ticket prices.

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