Working From Home

Working from home due to Corona Virus? Claim tax back on extra costs

Across the UK, millions of us are now working from home due to many firms closing their offices and premises because of COVID-19. If you fall into this category you may be eligible to claim for increased costs.

You can only claim for things to do with your work, for example, business telephone calls or the extra cost of gas and electricity for your work area.

You cannot claim for things that you use for both private and business use, for example, rent or broadband access.

If you are working from home voluntarily, you cannot claim tax relief on the bills you have to pay.

If your employer requires you to work at home, you can – and have always been able to – claim for increased costs due to working from home, eg, heating and electricity.

Yet apportioning these costs is tough. So to make things more easy and simple, you can claim a rate of £6/week. If your costs are higher, you can claim more but it becomes a much more extensive process.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. Employers can pay you £6/week extra tax-free. Employers can give you a tax free allowance up to this amount, so you get it all
  2. If your employer won’t pay expenses for your extra costs due to necessary working from home, but you have them, then you can ask for the amount to be deducted from your taxable income. This will be a claim for tax relief worth £1.20 per week at 20% tax or £2.40 at the higher rate

For the £6 per week claim, you will not need to justify that figure. This makes things very simple as you will not need to keep receipts to prove the claim

However, you will need to provide evidence of increased costs if you want to claim an amount higher than £6 per week

How To Make The Claim

For most people, all that will be required is the completion of an online P87 form through your Government Gateway account or by filling out a postal P87 form. If you normally do a self-assessment form, you can claim on it.

For postal P87s, you’ll also need your national insurance number. The key section for filling in is titled ‘Using your home as an office.

If you’re only at home due to coronavirus, it’s best to wait until you’re back at work then make the whole claim at once. Your tax code will likely be adjusted so you pay less tax over the year, as opposed to you getting a direct refund.

Claims may take a few weeks to be processed although may take longer due to the current situation.


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