Tuck into Martin Lewis' Veganuary restaurant deals
Urgent self-assessment tax deadline, free £900 for some married couples, ‘Veganuary’ restaurant deals, and driving licence renewal warning. These are our Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis’ Quick Deals.
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 NOW– so if you’ve not applied, do it urgently. 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.
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.
Driving licence renewal warning
Stats obtained from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) under the Freedom of Information Act show that more than a million drivers have paid more than they need to when applying for, or renewing their licence in the past three years because they did it by post rather than online – in total paying at least £10million more to do so.
Some of these will have chosen to pay more and renew by post to use the Post Office's Photocard Driving Licence Renewal service, which costs £21.50 and includes several checks to make sure your application will be accepted. Others may have renewed by post because they're not online, or because they don't have a passport, which you need in order to renew online.
But nearly 1,000,000 drivers who applied for their provisional licence – plus many who renewed by post without paying more for the extra checks – could have got the same service for less applying online.
The cost of applying for or renewing a driving licence varies according to how you do it:
· A first provisional licence for a car, motorbike or moped costs £34 online, but £43 by post.
· Renewing a driving licence costs £14 online, but £17 by post.
You have to renew your photo licence every 10 years – if it’s out of date you can be charged £1,000 so check the ‘4b’ bit of your licence now. Once you turn 70 you have to renew every three years but it is free to do this. And when you do go online be careful not to be caught out by shyster websites – go via Gov.uk, don’t rely on a search engine.