During the pandemic, employees required to work from home have been able to claim tax relief for additional costs not reimbursed by their employer. Those wishing to claim for expenses in the current tax year need to make a new claim.
- Even if an employee received tax relief on allowable working from home expenses in 2020/21, they must make a new claim for 2021/22. The old claim does not carry forward.
- Relief should apply to the whole tax year, regardless of whether staff returned to the workplace during the year, as long as they have been required to work at home at some point.
- Staff who didn’t get round to claiming tax relief last year have not lost their opportunity. HMRC will accept their claim for this period for up to four years in the future.
What can you claim?
Employees can claim tax relief on up to £6 per week, or £26 per month, to help with additional costs if they are required to work from home because of COVID-19.
Tax relief is based on the rate at which employees pay tax. Someone paying the 20% basic rate tax, claiming relief on £6 weekly, would get £1.20 in relief weekly (20% of £6). Higher rate taxpayers would get £2.40 weekly (40% of £6). Calculations will be slightly different in Scotland.
The relief applies to costs like business phone calls, and heat and light for the workspace. Different provisions apply to the purchase of office equipment or furniture.
Direct employees to search for ‘working from home tax relief’ and follow the link to the HMRC online portal on gov.uk. They can use the online portal to check eligibility and make a claim themselves, there and then. They will need to log in to Government Gateway first.
Alternatively, if the employee usually submits a Self Assessment tax return, they will be re-directed to claim there.