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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Coding: coding allowances and reliefs: maintenance payments

From 6 April 2000, relief is only due where one or both parties to the former marriage or Civil Partnership were born before 6 April 1935. Relief under the ‘old rules’ is withdrawn so claimants must satisfy the ‘new rules’. Guidance in the Relief Instructions Manual (RE) at RE1110 - RE1119 tells you how to decide whether relief is due.

Where maintenance is paid for a child the marriage or Civil Partnership rule is ignored. See Re1111b. At least one of the parties must still have been born before 6 April 1935.

The allowable amount is the lesser of the actual amount payable and the Maintenance Relief limit for the year. This limit is the lowest amount to which Married Couple’s allowance is income reduced.

Relief has been given at the same rate as the Married Couple’s allowance since 6 April 1994. The full amount on which relief is due is given as an allowance and automatically restricted by a higher personal allowance restriction deduction.

Use the description Maintenance Payments for all payments qualifying for relief. From 6 April 1999, relief is due at 10 per cent.

RE1209 tells you the amounts on which to give relief when payments are in arrears.

It is important that the correct indicators and notes are made when relief for maintenance payments is given. These enable you to review cases manually and allow the system to automatically amend the amount of the relief if appropriate. For more information see Action guide tax40157 (WMI176).