We don't generally associate the taxman with ways of boosting our income. But HMRC is pointing out five schemes that taxpayers could be entitled to that could see a significant boost to what they take home every month.
Now that the dust has settled on the government’s Autumn Budget, HMRC is encouraging taxpayers to remember to take advantage of these schemes, including childcare funding, savings bonuses and tax relief.
Mel Stride MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury explains: “The tax HMRC collects funds our vital public services, and also provides financial support to taxpayers and those most in need through programmes delivered by HMRC.
“We want to make sure everyone gets the financial help they are entitled to – offering a helping hand so they can take that first step on the property ladder through First-Time Buyers Relief, or supporting them with the cost of childcare through Tax-Free Childcare.”
Here are five schemes you may be able to take advantage of:
1. Marriage allowance
Married couples and civil partners can claim up to £238 a year through the Marriage Allowance. It can be claimed at any point in the year and you’ll still get the full amount for the tax year, no matter when you apply.
The allowance works by letting you transfer up to £1,190 of your personal allowance to a husband, wife or civil partner if you earn less than £11,850 per year and they earn between £11,851 and £46,350 (£43,430 in Scotland).
You can also backdate a claim to 5 April 2015, meaning you could get a significant lump sum if you haven’t claimed before.
2. Help to Save scheme
Low earners that save through the Help to Save scheme can get a 50p bonus for every £1 saved. This means £1,200 from HMRC if you save the maximum amount of £2,400 over four years.
3. Tax-free childcare
If you’re a parent of guardian of a child under the age of 12, or under 17 if disabled, you could be eligible for help with the cost of paying for childcare.
HMRC says 1.5 million households are eligible for help. For every £8 you spend on childcare, the government will make a top-up payment of £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year, or £4,000 for disabled children.
4. Work-related expenses relief
If you work in a job that requires a uniform, tools, equipment or travel expenses that your employer doesn’t pay for, you can claim tax relief on these items.
Read our breakdown of this scheme for how to do it for free.
5. First-time buyer relief
If you buy a house for the first time you can avoid paying stamp duty on the purchase. This includes any property bought on or after 22 November 2017.
You won’t have to pay the tax on any property worth up to £300,000 outside London, or up to £500,000 in the capital.
Note however this is not available in Scotland.
Hi Rich, thanks for spotting that! I have corrected the piece.