The COVID-19 pandemic changed working patterns quite dramatically in a short period of time. In 2019, 15.9% of respondents to an Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey had worked from home in the week before they answered the survey. In contrast, 47% of people worked remotely in early February as the pandemic worsened. If you work from home regularly, you may be able to claim tax relief for additional household expenses. However, it is important to note that you cannot claim tax relief if you choose to work from home.
What can I claim tax relief for?
Individuals working from home because their workplace premises are temporarily closed can claim a proportion of their gas and electricity, metered water and business phone calls, including dial-up internet access. Please note that you cannot claim the entire bill, only the parts that relate to your work.
How much can I claim?
Claimants have a choice. You can either claim tax relief on £6 per week from 6th April 2020, and you will not be required to give evidence of these extra costs. Alternatively, you can claim the exact amount of extra costs incurred from working from home above the weekly amount of £6. However, you will be required to provide evidence of including receipts, bills, or contracts.
For those claiming the flat tax relief figure of £6 per week, individuals on the basic 20% tax rate will gain £1.20 per week, or £62.40 annually. This figure rises to £2.40 a week for a 40% rate taxpayer (£124.80 annually), and £2.70 a week for the top 45% rate taxpayer (£140.40 annually). Please click here and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to check if you can claim.
Claim two years worth of tax relief
In April 2021, HMRC confirmed that the working from home tax relief would continue into 2021/2022 for those required to work from home. If you’ve been required to work from home at any point from 6th April 2021 to the 5th April 2022 and incurred higher costs as a result, you can claim via the Government website.
What if I’m self-employed?
If you’re self-employed, you can claim remote working tax relief via the annual self-assessment form rather than the microservice used by employed individuals. Likewise, self-employed individuals can claim for an entire year’s worth of relief if they are eligible.
Can I claim tax relief on work-related equipment?
Yes, in many cases, you can claim tax relief on the entire cost of work-related equipment, for example, a computer used exclusively for work. You will receive tax relief because the item will come under the annual investment allowance. To check if you are eligible, please click here and fill in the form at the bottom of the page.
Is working from home here to stay?
While more people are working from home than pre-pandemic, experts question whether working from home will be widespread post-pandemic. Chris Shrine, an analyst at the ONS, recently wrote that “as the country emerges again from lockdown, it is too soon to say how permanent or widespread these changes will prove to be”. Many commentators seem more sure about hybrid workplaces, where employees split their working hours between the office and home.