Are You Missing Out On Free Money?
Reader's Digest UK|November 2020
Are You Missing Out On Free Money?
Andy Webb on the perks you can’t afford to miss…
Andy Webb

I THINK IT’S great to get proactive and find ways to save money. Cutting back, switching bills and shopping around will all mean you have more money in your bank account.

But there’s a good chance even the savviest among you are missing out on free cash. From unclaimed benefits to tax breaks, and from overpaid bills to forgotten accounts, here are the top places to look.

Marriage Tax Allowance

This is any easy win—if you’re eligible. If you’re married or in a civil partnership then you might be able to get up to £250 back in tax this year, thanks to the Marriage Allowance.

As long as one of you is a basic rate taxpayer (so earning between £12,500 and £50,000 a year—the figures are slightly different in Scotland), and the other is a nontaxpayer (earning less than £12,500) you can put in a claim.

Essentially you’re moving 10% of the tax-free allowance from the lower earner to the other. For the 2020/21 tax year, that means £1,250 of the allowance is transferred to the higher earner. They’ll now not pay tax on this amount. Of course, that means the lower earner has a reduced allowance of £11,250. So if they earn more than this they’ll now be subject to 20% tax on that extra. That’s why the saving is up to £250 as some could be lost the other way.

Even so, this could be a big payday for you as you can backdate your claim by four extra years—so to April 2016. The income levels in 2019/20 were the same as this year, but they were lower in the three previous years, so double-check you weren’t earning too much.

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November 2020