HMRC have now made it easier for employers and employees to claim tax relief where staff have to work at home on a regular basis.
Employers can choose to pay the NET relief directly to the employee without having to provide any evidence of expenses or produce any additional paperwork.
How to apply
You should first ask your Employer if they are willing to add the relief amount to your NET pay otherwise see below.
Employees can apply for relief online directly via GOV.UK (link below). You will need your National Insurance number and a recent payslip OR P60 OR a valid UK passport. You can check your eligibility and apply here.
Q. How much tax relief will I receive?
A. This depends on the band of tax that you fall into. If you pay basic rate tax then you will receive 20% of £6 per week (from April 2020, £4 per week before this date) and higher income earners would receive 40% of the £6 as tax relief.
If you earn less than the tax free threshold you will not receive any tax relief.
Mary is a 20% basic rate tax payer and has been shielding whilst working from home. She is eligible for the following:
May will receive tax relief based on the 20% basic rate of tax. May can claim tax relief on £6 a week and would get £1.20 per week in tax relief (20% of £6). If May was a higher income earner (40%) this would double the relief to £2.40.
Q. I don’t need to work from home by I choose to. Can I still claim WFH relief?
A: In short, NO. Unless you are shielding or live with a person who is shielding then you should not claim WFH relief
Q. My employer is already paying me WFH relief. Can I still claim additional expenses?
A. You may be able to claim additional expenses via a Self-Assessment tax return IF you incur expenses that are necessary for your to carry our your work AND your employer does not reimburse you for these expenses. These expenses MUST be wholly and solely for the purpose of carrying out your work duties and have no personal benefit to you.
If you wish to claim expenses for a home office AND you intend to submit a Self Assessment tax return then you should NOT claim WFH tax relief. If your employer is already paying you the tax relief directly then you should request that you forgo these payments and backpay any payments that have been paid to you for the period you wish to claim.
Note that home office expenses can only be claimed for a room in your home which is solely used for work purposes i.e. a designated study room.
Q. I work from home 1-2 days per week. Am I eligible?
A. Guidelines suggest ‘on a regular basis’ therefore if you are consistently working from home for an extended period of time albeit it only part-time from home then yes, you will be eligible.