It’s been a busy few months with many of us still having to embrace working from home at times, and adjusting to a new way of working.
The good news is there are some tax reliefs available as a result which have been recently highlighted in much of the national press.
In particular, on the 1st October HMRC launched an online portal which enables employees to claim a “working from home Relief” via their tax code. The portal was set up to process tax relief on additional expenses for employees who have been told to work from home by their employer to help stop the spread of Covid-19, and whilst HMRC confirm up to 55,000 claims have been made thus far, there are many employees for which this may still be available and unclaimed.
The money can help with the additional costs associated with home working, such as heating and broadband costs, and where employees have not received payments directly from their employer in relation to this they can apply through the portal to receive the tax relief from HMRC.
In addition, no evidence is required for the claim of up to £6 per week.
As an example, if you pay tax at the 20% basic rate and claim the weekly £6 deduction this would equate to £5.20 a month increase in your take home pay (higher rate taxpayers would receive £10.40 a month).
In order to make the claim visit http://gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home and if you don’t already have one, you will need a government ID. You should have your national insurance number and a recent payslip/pP60 or valid UK passport handy to complete this.
Once complete the adjustment is made to your tax code notice and provided directly to your employer to apply to your monthly net wage calculation.
Additional relief is also available for uniforms, work clothing, tools and professional fees, this may be of particular interest for those working on the front line or in construction. For example a midwife or dental nurse may be able claim up to £125 a year to cover cleaning of their uniform, whilst an employed construction labourer could be entitle to £80 a year.
There are many companies on the market that can make these applications for you, however they will charge a premium for this service. It is therefore important to be aware that many of these claims can usually be made by you directly on the HMRC website.