We previously announced the introduction of the new Marriage Allowance in April, which allows married or civil partnership couples (born on or after 6th April 1935) to share a proportion of their annual tax allowance.
Unfortunately, a number of couples have been unable to claim the new Marriage Allowance due to problems with a £25million computer system called Verify.
The core problem relates to applicants having to validate their identity when the system asks for extensive personal documents and details. The process asks applicants for credit card, mortgage, passport and photo driving licences, which many elderly couples lack. Additionally, some applicants were rejected because they did not own a mobile phone to receive a unique security code needed to complete the application.
Many couples who tried to complete the application said that they assumed that the subsequent email asking them to provide personal finance details was fraudulent and untrustworthy.
In response to the criticism, an HMRC spokesman said that an "identity check service" has been introduced to help those who want to apply for the Marriage Allowance but struggle to use the Verify system. He also stated that in the unlikely event that a couple are still unable to confirm their identity online, a phone number will be given to call to complete the application.