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How to claim tax relief for the year for working from home

LaToya Harding
·Contributor
·3-min read
HMRC tax relief
Employees who have been required to work from home since 6 April can claim tax relief for the whole year, worth £62 or £124. Photo: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

As people across the UK face new lockdown measures and continue to avoid the office, remote workers can claim a tax break for the year — even if you have worked from home for just one day.

Money-saving expert Martin Lewis revealed that employees who have been required to work from home since 6 April can claim tax relief for the whole year, worth £62 or £124.

The founder of MoneySavingExpert.com said: “When we first looked at it, we couldn’t quite believe it seemed to indicate you’d automatically get the whole year’s claim.”

The tax break is to cover additional household costs for working from home instead of the office. These costs include things such as heating, metered water bills, home contents insurance, business calls or a new broadband connection.

They do not include costs that would stay the same whether you were working at home or in an office, such as mortgage interest, rent or council tax.

HMRC says: “We recognise that the working from home situation is very fluid this year, so we’re accepting claims for the full year’s expenses. That includes even if people have only worked from home for some of the year, to avoid needing to contact us if you have to work from home again.”

Watch: Will the Covid crisis lead to higher taxes?

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Workers only need to apply once for the tax break and will automatically receive a claim for the complete tax year — a gain of £62 a year for basic rate taxpayers and £124 a year at the higher rate.

The tax relief is also eligible if you have already made a claim this year.

Here’s how to claim:

There are two ways to receive the outlined tax relief. Employers can pay you an additional £6 every week tax-free or it can be claimed via HMRC and the amount will be deducted from your taxable income.

HMRC have set up a new microservice that will automatically apply the tax relief to your tax code.

If you are claiming tax relief on £6 a week HMRC have said that employees do not need to keep evidence of your extra costs.

However, workers are also entitled to claim the exact amount of extra costs incurred if it is above the weekly amount. This is subject to submitting evidence such as receipts, bills or contracts.

To make a claim workers will need to have a Government Gateway ID, which can be created as part of the process if you do not have one.

Lewis said: “Don’t expect to receive a cheque for this money though. It is done via altering your tax code which is what indicates to your employer how much tax to take off your payslip — it should be amended in your personal tax account within a couple of days.

“The result will be less tax taken off each month for the rest of the year which means you’ll take home more.”

Watch: The £2bn Green Home Grants scheme explained