The impact of Covid-19 has meant many of us have had to work from home. But have you considered that working from home incurs some costs? Good news! You can claim the tax back on these.
2020 has seen many of us creating home office spaces, working from dining room tables or spare rooms. With the new three-tier system in place, it could mean some of us are destined to now spend even more time at home in the coming months.
While this can mean a break in some expenses (such as a commute or lunch out), it can also mean an increase in some home expenses, such as heating for longer hours - especially now we’re coming into winter.
However, you can claim back money for these expenses.
To be eligible:
You must have been made to work from home - if you’re working there by choice, you won’t be eligible to claim
You can’t claim for costs you would have anyway - like rent. However, you can claim for increases in utility bills, due to longer hours in the home
How much can I claim?
To avoid everyone needing to keep receipts and evidence, the government has stipulated that you can claim up to £6 of expenses per week without evidence. This was worked out as an average.
Or, you can claim more than this if you’re sure your expenses total above this amount. However, for this option, you will need to provide evidence and receipts.
1. Through your employer - you can ask to claim up to £6 per week through your employer, tax-free, or
2. Claim tax relief on the £6 per week through a p87 form on gov.uk - note this will be the tax on the amount, so £1.20 at the normal rate, or £2.40 per week at a higher rate. The amount is deducted from your taxable income.
This doesn’t sound like a lot but it totals from £62 to £124 over a year.
How you decide to apply is up to you, it could be worth talking to your employer to ask about claiming the expenses - but it may depend on their own financial situation at this time. You can also claim retrospectively for the costs you’ve already covered.
Remember, for this average amount you do not need evidence or receipts, but anything higher than this you want to claim - you will need to show proof of expenses.