Self-assessment tax deadline, free £900 for some married couples, ‘Veganuary’ restaurant deals, Boots up to 70% off sale boost and 2for1 movies and meals for a year. These are our Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis’ Deals of the Week.
Remember, deals can change quickly, even while I’m on the programme. So always double-check the terms and conditions before spending. Plus, while I hope these deals will save you cash, don’t spend if you can’t afford it, don’t need it, or won’t use it.
Self-assessment deadline warning – sort it NOW. If you’ve been sent a self-assessment tax return or received notification that you need to fill one in, you must complete it online by 11.59pm on 31 January and pay any tax due (the paper filing deadline has long past – that was 31 October) or you face a £100 fine plus interest on any underpayments. But if this is your first time doing it, then you’ll need to register for an activation code via the Gov.uk website which can take up to 10 working days to arrive, so that means you need to request one TODAY (17 January) – so if you’ve not applied, do it urgently now. Also, try not to leave filing your return until the 31st deadline, as chances are the phone lines will be extremely busy if you need to contact them.
And while I’m on the subject of tax…
Are you married? If so, you may be due a free £900 The marriage tax allowance launched almost four years ago, but yet about one million eligible couples still haven’t claimed it and are missing out. It works for married couples or those in civil partnerships (not just cohabiting) where one pays tax at the basic 20% rate and the other is a non-taxpayer.
The non-taxpayer can apply to have 10% (£1,190 for this tax year) of their tax-free allowance shifted to the taxpayer. This means £1,190 of income they were taxed on at 20% is now tax-free – a £238/year gain done via altering your tax code. And assuming you were eligible, you can back claim to when it started too, so that’s a cheque for £662 – which in total is £900.
It’s important to note that it’s the non-taxpayer who must apply to transfer their allowance. Full info, FAQ and help in Martin’s full Marriage Tax Allowance Help guide.
Vegan-friendly restaurant deals for ‘Veganuary’
Last week, I told you about some of the big January restaurant discounts and I was asked ‘what about Veganuary?’, so I’ve honed it down to deals that can be used at some of the big restaurant chains which (some surprisingly) have new vegan-friendly options. For these, you’ll need to register on the restaurants’ websites or apps…
Pizza Hut – 41% off food Monday to Thursday and after 5pm on Sunday until Thursday 24 January, including its ‘Vegan Jack ‘N’ Ch**se’ vegan cheese pizza with jackfruit.
Pizza Express – 2for1 on mains Sunday to Thursday until 31 January, including its vegan jackfruit Puttanesca pizza.
Zizzi – 2for1 vegan mains Sunday to Thursday until 31 January (or 40% off your total food bill in most restaurants until Friday 18 January).
Frankie & Benny’s – 50% off mains until Tuesday 22 January, including vegan burgers, pizza, mac & cheese, hot dog and more options.
Toby Carvery – 33% off mains via its app until Thursday 24 January (except Sunday), including its roast mushroom and ale pie, and ‘unlimited’ veg.
Las Iguanas – 2for1 vegan mains Sunday to Thursday until 31 January, including vegan nachos, jackfruit tacos and more.
All of the above, except for the Zizzi and Las Iguanas 2for1s – which are specifically for vegan mains only - can also be used on non-vegan menu options if someone in your party prefers. Many other restaurants, including some independents, will have deals too so it’s worth a look around.
Boots clearance boost: This is one of the biggies MoneySavers wait for each January, and rumours have been building over the past few weeks. Some newspapers incorrectly reported that the sale would boost on 16 January, but I have a strong suspicion (there are hints in-store, and staff say it’s ‘likely’, yet they haven’t confirmed the date), that from tomorrow (Friday 18 January), is when Boots will be boosting its ‘up to 50% off’ sale to ‘up to 70% off’, instore. Based on what is currently in the sale, examples of popular gift sets that are likely to have up to 70% off in stores are the Soap & Glory ‘Glitz & Make Up’ for £15 (currently £25 in up to 50% off sale. Normally £60), and Joules ‘Wonderful Weekend’ set for £15 (currently £25 in up to 50% off sale. Normally £50). Of course, there’s no guarantee your local store will have those - it depends on stock.
Get 2for1 movies and at 1,000s of restaurants for a year for £1ish: On Monday in my Martin Lewis Money Show – I told of a trick, whereby you can qualify for Meerkat 2for1 Movies (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and Meerkat Meals which is 2for1 on starters, mains and desserts (cheapest free), Sun-Thu anytime, for up to six people at participating restaurants – including Pizza Express, Pizza Hut, Prezzo, Frankie & Benny’s, Giraffe, Ask Italian, Zizzi, Strada, Bella Italia, Chiquito, plus 1,000s of independent restaurants.
As Compare the Market may not be best for you, the trick is get the cheapest item - a one day UK only travel insurance policy, usually £1-£3 giving you all those 2for1s for a year. On the night, many got this, but lots were told their panel couldn’t find any deals. Compare The Market has confirmed this is likely simply due to over-demand from the show. So if you missed it then, just try again.