Marriage Allowance: Warning as copycat website charges excessive fees to claim free rebate
Experts are warning taxpayers to be aware of the copycat website that appears to be similar to HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) official website, with the firm charging exorbitant fees to claim the Marriage Allowance rebate.
A Marriage Allowance, which is worth £250 every tax year, can be claimed for free from HMRC, but one firm is now targeting older couples with correspondence, before taking almost half (42 per cent) of their rebate in fees.
The Marriage Allowance was introduced in 2015, enabling lower earners to transfer a maximum of £1,250 of any unused £12,000 tax-free personal allowance to the higher earner in a marriage.
The higher earner must earn between £12,501 and £50,000 in order to qualify, while claims can be backdated for up to four years. As a result, many people can be eligible to claim up to £1,000.
However, the latest research shows that many people are unaware of the tax rebate, with 700,000 couples of the 4.2 million that are eligible have not claimed.
Marriage Allowance Limited, the firm in question, takes 42 per cent of the rebate in addition to a ‘processing fee’ of £24, while also stating that additional fees may apply.
The firm’s logo appears similar to the official gov.uk logo, while the site layout also appears to be similar, with experts warning taxpayers to be aware of copycat websites that charge fees where official website’s, such as HMRC’s in this case, offer a free service.
A spokesperson for HMRC said: “We encourage customers to come directly to HMRC to make their Marriage Allowance claim. It takes only a few minutes to complete online and eligible claims receive 100 per cent of their entitlement.”
Jack Johnson, Director at Marriage Allowance Limited, stated that the firm is not trying to portray itself as HMRC while saying that it is raising awareness of a lesser publicised tax break, with its fees reflected the investment they are making.