Given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic a number of UK office workers have now been working from home for periods of up to 6 months, and for some this looks set to continue long into the future. Employees should be alert to possible tax allowances they could receive as a result of this lengthy stint working from home.
Relief for expenses occurred whilst working from home
From 6th April 2020 your employers can pay you up to £6 a week (£26 per month) to cover additional costs where you have been made to work from home. No records will need to be kept in respect of this. If you are voluntarily working from home then you are not eligible to claim this relief.
For previous years this tax relief constituted £4 a week (£18 per month).
Relief for home office equipment
Under relaxed rules for 2020/21 your employer can also reimburse you for the costs of home equipment without any additional tax/NIC being charged to the reimbursement.
Unlike the scheme mentioned earlier, you will not have to primarily/exclusively work from home to quality, although you will need to keep receipts for any items you wish to claim.
Claiming where your employer won’t reimburse you
If your employer doesn’t reimburse you for either of the claims mentioned earlier then you can submit your own claim with HMRC using the form P87.
Whilst the relief may only be small compared to the time and effort expended to fill and submit the form. For taxpayers that are feeling the pinch of the current pandemic or for those who have purchased equipment to facilitate working from home it may come as a welcome relief.