Tax relief for working from home

by Gavin Hooker

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If you have been forced to work from home (or possibly still are) due to the pandemic and your employer has not reimbursed these costs, then you will be able to claim the working from home tax relief.

In order to claim income tax relief for home working, your contract of employment should require you to work from home. However, during the pandemic many more people have been forced to work from home because of government guidance regarding homeworking.

The current rate of the claim you can make is £6 per week and this claim can be made without the requirement of keeping supporting evidence. The claim is intended to go towards a proportion of your household costs like gas and electricity, water rates and business calls and broadband costs.

Should you believe the additional household costs of homeworking are more than £6 per week, you do have the option to make a larger claim based on the actual additional cost of gas and electricity, metered water and business phone calls, including internet access.

If you decide to make a larger claim, then you will need supporting evidence for that claim such as receipts, bills or contracts. Ideally the evidence should include corresponding bills for a period before you were based at home to show that due to homeworking costs have increased.

HMRC have advised that the claim for household expenses can only be permitted if it can be demonstrated that the expense has been incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties of the employment, so make sure you keep records of your claims and supporting evidence! To read more from HMRC’s guidance, this can be found here.

If you have had to buy equipment yourself personally, such as a computer, desk or mobile phone, then you should be able to claim tax relief for those items too, provided you need it for your job and there is no significant private use of the equipment!

If you want to claim the tax relief but do not have any requirements to complete a Tax Return then this can be done on HMRC’s website.

Whatever figures you use, make sure they are added to your tax return so that you don’t miss out on the claim. Although it may be a relatively small amount, every little helps!

The content in this blog is correct as at 2 November 2021.

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