2020 – it’s been a wild ride, hasn’t it? The Covid-19 pandemic has changed literally every aspect of our lives, from how we socialise to how we shop, eat out and, of course, work. While there are a lot of jobs that can’t be done remotely, most office-based workers have been forced to trade the office for a WFH set-up this year, and with that has come its own set of unique challenges.
And as we roll into winter, we’re starting to notice how much our bills are going up from the extra hours of heating and electricity we wouldn’t normally be consuming. However, Martin Lewis (aka the money saving expert) has recently divulged a huge secret that could score people working from home up to £125 in tax relief. How? Well WFH-ers, listen up.
If you’ve had to switch from office to home office during the pandemic (and most of us have), even for just part of the week or year, you’re entitled to claim tax relief from the government to cover the extra costs incurred from working from home, such as higher energy bills. Even better, you don’t have to jump through hoops to submit your claim either, it’s a simple 5 minute box-ticking exercise on the HMRC website.
Money expert Martin Lewis wrote: ‘Right now many firms have closed workplaces and that means across the UK millions of staff are temporarily required to work from home, even if it’s just for part of the week, and therefore are eligible to claim if you’ve had increased costs due to it.’
Even if you’ve only worked from home for one day since April 2020, you can claim for the whole year, no questions asked, no proof of receipts, nothing. HMRC told Martin Lewis: ‘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.’
How much money can you expect?
The money is paid back to you via tax relief through your salary and everyone who has worked from home this year can claim tax relief on £6 a week – how much you’ll receive is based on which tax bracket you sit in. For example: ‘Tax relief of £6 a week equates to a gain of £1.20 a week for a basic 20% rate taxpayer, £2.40 a week for a higher 40% rate taxpayer.’ That equates to £62.40 a year for basic rate taxpayers and £124.80 a year at the higher rate.
If you’d like a piece of working from home tax relief (um, who wouldn’t?), use the online tool to submit your claim now.