Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis explains how Londoners can get up to £2,000 boost in next two weeks – My London

by MoneySaverExpert

Millions of people have just weeks left to claim thousands of pounds worth of free government bonuses, Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has warned.

Speaking on the series finale of the ITV Money Show on Thursday, the consumer expert revealed how households can get an end-of-tax-year pay rise – but only if they act now.

In a warning to married couples, aspiring first time buyers, home workers and those with savings in the bank, he said the clock is ticking to take advantage of some easy cash rewards, reports the MirrorOnline.

But he money champion warned: “The clock is ticking.”

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Here’s what you need to know:

Marriage tax allowance

Here’s how you can get some money back

Starting with the marriage tax allowance, Martin Lewis said savers have just weeks left to claim a £250 refund if they were married in the 2016-2017 tax year.

That’s through a tax break that allows people with an income of £12,500 or less to transfer up to £1,250 of their Personal Allowance to their husband, wife or civil partner – if their income is higher.

He added: “This can be backdated up to four years – which means the clock is now clicking to claim for the 2016 year.

“It’s worth £250 a year but this is your last chance to claim for the 2016 to 2017 tax year. It takes just two minutes to file a claim on the government website.”

This can save you: £250

Uniform tax rebate

If you wash your own uniform, you can apply for a tax rebate on it

If you wear a specific uniform for work, you could get around £12 back for the current tax year.

That’s through uniform tax relief.

He said: “If you wash the uniform yourself, you could get up £60 back in the form of a uniform tax break if you backdate it for the full four years.”

This can save you: £12

Lifetime ISA

Martin Lewis said parents should encourage their kids to open an account

You can put £4,000 into a Lifetime ISA a year and get a 25% bonus from the government to put towards your first home or retirement every year until the age of 40.

Martin added: “But for 2020, the tax year is ending which means it’s your last chance to put £4,000 in and get the £1,000 bonus.”

If you can afford to do so, it pays a generous 25% return.

“This is also a warning for parents.

“The Lifetime ISA rule means you have to have it for a year to get the bonus. If you’re a parent and your child is hoping to buy a home one day – possibly in the next few years – open one now, you only need £1 to get started.”

This can save you: £1,000

Cash ISAs and stocks and shares

Whether you opt for an ISA or not, you can earn £1,000 in interest every year before having to pay any tax

If you have a lot of savings, now is the time to make sure you’ve used up your ISA allowance for the year.

However, with the tax-free allowance on savings now £1,000, most people won’t need to follow the ISA rule.

He said: “This is because all interest you earn above £1,000 will be tax free wherever you put it – so my advice is to opt for the account that pays highest returns, don’t just focus on your ISA options.”

This can save you: Potentially thousands – although this depends entirely on your savings pot.

Work from home tax relief

The tax relief applies even if you’ve only worked one day from home

If you’ve worked from home in the past year, you could be entitled to £60 back from your employer or £60 tax-relief from HMRC.

He said: “This is in the form of work from home tax relief – and it applies even if you’ve worked just one day from home in the past 12 months.”

The rebate is worth £64 for a basic rate taxpayer – 20% – or £124 if you’re a higher rate payer (40%).

This can save you: £124

TV Licence

The good news is you might not have to pay it

Next month, the TV Licence fee is also rising by £1.50 a year – but do you need to pay it?

He explained: “No, there are a million pensioners that are missing out on pensions credit – and if you qualify you don’t need to pay the TV Licence.”

Likewise, Martin said if you’re not watching live TV, you may be able to avoid the charge entirely.

The fee only applies if you are watching TV in real time or using BBC iPlayer. Those using on-demand or catch-up services are not legally required to pay it.

This can save you: £12

Council tax

Those who live alone can get 50% of their Council tax written off

The consumer expert also issued a warning on council tax ahead of record high price hikes from April.

Next month, local authorities will be increasing bills by an eye-watering 5% – but Lewis said thousands may be eligible for a council tax discount – or a refund on their tax band.

This includes students and those who live alone – find out more, here.

This can save you: In England the average band D council tax bill for 2020/21 was £1,818. Paying just 50% of this would mark a £908 saving.

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