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How to claim tax back for working from home

author: Helen Fox

By Helen Fox

Working from home has become the new normal for many of us over the last couple of years.

While working from the comfort of your own home has many perks, it can also mean higher costs for bills like gas and electricity, water, and even your phone bill.

Thankfully, you can claim tax relief to help towards your higher bills, as well as any equipment you’ve had to buy, such as a desk or comfortable chair.

Keep reading to find out how this works, and if you could claim tax relief worth up to £250!

How much can I claim?

You can either:

  • claim a fixed amount towards your costs for time you’ve worked from home, without having to submit evidence of your extra expenses
  • or, claim the exact costs you’ve incurred, with evidence such as bills, receipts or contracts

You can backdate your claims by up to four years to claim tax relief on extra costs you incurred by working from home in previous tax years.

If you worked from home before 6th April 2020, the amount you can claim tax relief on without submitting proof of your expenses is £4 per week, although you can only claim for the weeks you worked from home.

After 6th April 2020, you can claim tax relief on £6 per week. And, if the reason you had to work from home was the pandemic, then even if you only had to work from home for one day, you can claim tax relief for the whole tax year.

How much you’ll receive

How much you will receive depends on the rate of tax you pay. Basic rate taxpayers (20%) can claim tax relief of £1 a week before 6th April 2020 and £1.20 a week thereafter. This means that at the current rate, the tax relief you receive is £62.40 a year. Higher rate taxpayers (40%) can claim £2 a week before 6th April 2020, and £2.40 a week afterwards. This is £124.80 a year.

This means that, if, for example, you started working from home because of the pandemic, you could receive as much as £250 in backdated tax relief.

Who can claim?

Who can claim working from home tax relief depends on which tax years you want to claim for. The rules have changed over the years, so make sure you check them carefully to submit your claim correctly.

Before 6th April 2020

You can claim tax relief if you regularly worked from home for all or part of the week. You can, however, only claim for weeks that you worked from home.

From 6th April 2020 – 5th April 2022

To claim tax relief for time spent working from home during the pandemic, from 6th April 2020 and 5th April 2022, you must meet all of these criteria:

  • you were, or are, required to work from home by your employer (this includes working from home because of Coronavirus)
  • your household costs have risen because you work, or worked, from home
  • your employer has not already paid you for your additional expenses

Remember, you can claim the full year’s tax relief for each year, even if you didn’t work from home for the whole time.

After 6th April 2022

To claim tax relief on additional working from home costs you’ve incurred after 6th April 2022, then as well as the criteria listed above, at least one of these must also apply to you:

  • your employer has no appropriate facilities at their premises (if they have one) for you to work from
  • you live so far from your employer’s premises that you can’t reasonably travel there every day
  • government restrictions require you to work from home

In all cases, to be eligible to claim tax relief, working from home must be a requirement, not a choice. If you could work from your employer’s office or premises, but choose to work from home, then you are not eligible to claim this kind of tax relief.

How can I make a claim?

You can claim online at gov.uk. You'll need a Government Gateway ID to make the claim online. If you don’t have one you’ll be given the chance to sign up for one during the online process.

You won’t usually receive the money back by cash or cheque. When you’ve made a successful claim your tax code will be adjusted so that you’ll pay less tax up to the amount you’re entitled to.

If you do self-assessments then you won’t be able to claim via the government site, but you can do so via your self-assessment form - in section 20 on the full form and section 2.5 on the short form.

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Helen Fox

By Helen Fox

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