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How to claim tax back for working from home

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

Even if you’ve only worked from home for one day this year, you can make a claim. Remember, the deadline to make your tax return this year is April 5th!

If you’ve had to work from home since the pandemic started, you should be able to claim for additional costs incurred. Working from home means heating, water, or broadband bills have probably jumped for many. Tax relief is available to help you with these costs.

If you don’t normally work from home, but you’ve had to because of lockdown you can still make a claim.

From April 2020 the government announced that people can claim tax relief for extra costs of up to £6 per week. You can’t claim costs you’d have had to pay anyway, such as mortgage or rent payments. You also can’t claim if you didn’t have to work from home but chose to.

You can also claim tax back for any equipment you’ve had to buy, such as a desk or comfortable chair.

How much can I claim?

How much you can claim depends on the rate of tax you pay. Basic rate taxpayers (20%) can claim tax relief of £1.20 a week which is £62.40 a year. Higher rate taxpayers (40%) can claim £2.40 a week which is £124.80.

To make it easier this year, you don’t have to provide any receipts to claim tax relief on costs up to £6 per week. If you think your additional costs were higher than this then you could claim more, but you’ll need to show evidence.

How can I make a claim?

You can easily 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 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.

When do I need to claim by?

The deadline for making your tax return for the year 2020/2021 is April 5th, 2021. It's not clear yet whether you'll be able to claim these expenses for the whole tax year after this date, so it's best to put your claim in as soon as possible.

Because of coronavirus, you can make just one claim which covers the whole tax year. You can make the claim any time before the deadline. Remember, even if you´ve worked at home for just one day, you can claim the costs for the whole year as well.

Read on to find out how to maintain a good work-life balance.

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

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

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