If employed workers were told to work at home by their employer because of coronavirus and, as a result, their household costs have increased, they are eligible to claim the working from home tax relief. It is quick and easy to claim via HMRC’s online portal. From 6 April 2020, the amount employers have been able to pay tax-free without employees having to provide evidence of an increased bill is up to £6 a week. Employees who have not received the working from home expenses payment direct from their employer can apply to receive the tax relief from HMRC.
Eligible taxpayers can claim tax relief based on the rate at which they pay tax. For example, if an employed worker pays the 20% basic rate of tax and claims tax relief on £6 a week, they would receive £1.20 a week in tax relief (20% of £6 a week) towards the cost of their household bills. Higher rate taxpayers would receive £2.40 a week (40% of £6 a week). Over the course of the year, this could mean taxpayers can reduce the tax they pay by £62.40 or £124.80 respectively.
To claim for tax relief for working from home, employees can apply directly via GOV.UK for free. Once their application has been approved, the online portal will adjust their tax code for the 2021 to 2022 tax year. They will receive the tax relief directly through their salary until March 2022. If employees were required to work from home last year but did not claim for the tax relief, they have not missed out; HMRC will accept backdated claims for up to 4 years. They will receive a lump sum payment for any successful backdated claims.