Working from home and claiming tax relief

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Are you eligible to claim tax relief to help towards the costs of working from home?

You can apply if you work at home on a regular basis, either for all or part of the week, and if you have to work from home because of Covid-19.

You can claim tax relief for the whole of the tax year (from 6 April 2020), even if you’ve worked from home for some of the year then been back into the office, and then back to homeworking again.

This is because the HMRC has recognised that due to the pandemic, the situation with home working this year is very fluid.

You may also be able to claim tax relief on equipment you’ve bought, such as a laptop, chair or mobile phone.

You cannot claim tax relief if you choose to work from home.

What costs you can claim for

Additional costs include things like heating your work area, 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.

How much you can claim

You can either claim tax relief on:

  • £6 a week from 6 April 2020 (for previous tax years the rate is £4 a week) – you will not need to keep evidence of your extra costs
  • the exact amount of extra costs you’ve incurred above the weekly amount – but you’ll need evidence such as receipts, bills or contracts.

You’ll get tax relief based on the rate at which you pay tax. For example, if you pay the 20% basic rate of tax and claim tax relief on £6 a week you would get £1.20 per week in tax relief (20% of £6).

To check if you’re eligible

Go to the working from home pages on Gov.uk to check if you are eligible to claim. You’ll be asked a series of simple questions.

In order to progress a claim, you will need a Government Gateway user ID and password.

You can create a user ID and password if you don’t already have one, it takes about ten minutes. You’ll need to hand your National Insurance number and a recent payslip, or a valid UK passport.

How do I get the money?

The money you’ll get back won’t be via a cheque in the post or a bank transfer, it’ll be through reduced tax. Your tax code will be altered which means you’ll pay less tax each month – and you should see the difference in your pay packet. 

Remember, you won’t receive the full £6 a week – just the tax relief on the £6.