It's not too late to claim tax relief for working from home

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Date: 29 June 2021

A homeworker claims his tax relief for home expenses

The government is urging employees that have had to work from home during the pandemic to claim tax relief via the HMRC online portal.

Employees who have worked from home during the pandemic can claim tax relief on household expenses for this tax year. Since April, almost 800,000 employees who have been working from home during the pandemic have already claimed tax relief on household-related costs for the year 2021/2022 according to HMRC.

The saving is worth up to £125 per year for each employee; eligible workers can claim the full year's entitlement if they have been told to work from home by their employer, even if it has been for one day during the tax year.

Employees who have either returned to working in an office since early April or are preparing for their return can still claim the working from home tax relief and benefit from the full year's relief for the 2021 to 2022 tax year by claiming via HMRC's online portal.

Any employees who were required to work from home during the 2020 to 2021 tax year but did not claim for the tax relief have not missed out either. HMRC will accept backdated claims for up to four years and tax-payers will receive a lump sum payment for any successful backdated claims.

Employees must apply directly themselves (agents cannot use the online portal to apply on a customer's behalf). Once an application has been approved, their tax code will be automatically adjusted for the relevant tax year and they will receive the tax relief directly through their salary.

"More people are getting back to office working now, but it's not too late to apply for tax relief on household expenses if they've been working from home during the pandemic," said Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC's director general for customer services.

Since April last year, the maximum amount employers have been able to pay tax-free without employees having to provide evidence of an increased bill was set at £6 a week. Employees who have not received the working from home expenses payment direct from their employer can apply to receive the tax relief from HMRC. If an employee completes an annual tax return, they can apply for the tax relief via their Self Assessment tax return.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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