With so many firms having to close their premises due to coronavirus, the number of people working from home has dramatically increased. If your employer has told you to work from home, whether full time or part time, you can claim a tax rebate for home working expenses. This particular tax rebate doesn’t apply if you’ve chosen to work from home, however.
HMRC has recognised the disruption caused to businesses by coronavirus, and that staffing rotas and requirements frequently change at short notice, which is why you’re eligible to claim even if you only work from home for one day.
It’s not widely known that employed workers can claim tax back in this way when they have to work from home, but you can make a claim in various ways – from your employer, directly from HMRC, or via a self-assessment tax return as an employee.
Working from home typically incurs extra costs, such as heat and light, work-related phone calls, or printer ink/paper. You can claim £6 a week for these types of expenses as of April 2020 without having to provide evidence of the costs.
If you claim more than £6 per week, HMRC may request to view the relevant invoices or bills to support the claim, so you’ll need to make sure you have them. The tax relief is based on your tax band, so if you’re a basic rate taxpayer (20%) and claimed £6 per week your tax rebate would be £1.20 per week. Higher rate taxpayers (40%) would receive a £2.40 per week rebate.
If you want to use the Government Gateway service but don’t yet have an ID, you can set one up before you claim.
If you’re self-employed you can claim your work from home expenses as usual through self-assessment. This is a different scheme than the one mentioned above, however, and you won’t be able to claim under the new HMRC microservice unless you’re employed.
As a sole trader you can claim a proportion of your work-related expenses either as a flat rate, which depends on the number of hours you work from home, or as a claim that itemises your expenses. The second option would involve providing reasonable estimates and detailed calculations to HMRC.
If you would like further information on claiming tax back when working from home, Scotland Debt Solutions can help. We’ll let you know whether you’re eligible to make a claim as an employee, and provide reliable, clear advice. Please contact one of the team for a free consultation – we operate offices around the country.
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