Did you know that if you are required to work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic, you can claim for increased costs? Here, head of tax Andrew Diver, explains the ins and outs of working from home expenses.
Many small, medium and large businesses across the UK have closed with millions of employees required to work from home on a temporary basis. If you are among these having to work from home, you can claim tax relief for your job expenses.
From April 6, 2020, HMRC confirmed that workers can claim for £6 per week for expenses related to work such as business telephone calls or the extra cost of electricity.
You cannot claim if you have chosen to work at home.
There are two ways of claiming £6 per week:
- Your employer can pay an additional £6 per week tax-free
- You can claim tax relief on £6 per week from HMRC by asking your accountant for the amount to be deducted from your taxable income
How to claim
It is simple to claim via an online P87 form through your individual Government Gateway account or by completing a postal P87 form.
Claimants will need to fill in their employer’s name and PAYE reference (located on your pay slip) and job title. For postal applications, you will also need your National Insurance number.
The most important section to complete is entitled ‘Using your home as an office’.
In the online form, there are two boxes:
- Amount paid by you – put a total amount that is equivalent to £6 per week for the period you have been working from home
- Amount paid to you by your employer – if you have not been reimbursed for expenses, fill it in as £0
The expenses are claimed for retrospectively, so it is best to wait until the coronavirus lockdown is ended to make one whole claim.
Once the application is submitted, HMRC should respond with a matter of a few weeks.
Full details of the tax relief expenses scheme are available here: https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home
If you would like help in making a claim or supporting your employees to file a claim, we can assist. We can also advise on any other claims to reduce employees’ tax liabilities. Please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01473 659777.