How to claim for working from home tax relief

If you were told by your employer to keep working from home after the pandemic, you may be able to apply for tax relief worth up to £140 even if you failed to apply for the rebate as claims can be backdated. In this blog post, we’ll explain how the relief works and how you can claim it.

Working from home tax relief explained

In response to the pandemic, the government introduced the working from home (WFH) tax relief, introduced on 6 April 2020. The logic was simple: as millions of workers were obligated to work from home, their home bills (such as gas, electricity and internet) were likely to have increased.

Eligible taxpayers can claim tax relief of up to £6 per week. The exact amount they get depends on the rate at which they pay income tax:

  • Basic-rate taxpayers receive £1.20 a week (tax relief of 20% on £6) = £62.40 per tax year
  • Higher-rate taxpayers receive £2.40 a week (tax relief of 40% on £6) = £124.80 per tax year
  • Top-rate taxpayers receive £2.70 a week (tax relief of 45% on £6) = £140.40 per tax year

You are eligible for WFH tax reliefs if:

  • You have to work from home. You cannot claim tax if you choose to work from home.
  • Have to pay higher costs related to working from home.
  • Are not receiving expenses from your employer to cover the extra costs of working from home.

If you have been working from home since the first lockdown was announced on 23 March 2020, you can backdate a claim to cover the first tax year of the pandemic (2020/21) and the second year (2021/22).

How to claim WFH tax relief

There are two ways to claim the tax relief. First, your employer can cover your expenses and pay them into your wages tax-free. Alternatively, you can claim them yourself. You cannot do both, however.

If you are claiming yourself, you can follow this checklist:

  1. First, go to the government’s online portal for WFH tax relief and answer the eligibility questions. You will also be asked about other work-related expenses that you could also claim.
  2. Use your Government Gateway ID to proceed with the application. If you don’t have one, you can create it during the process – you’ll just need your national insurance number, a recent payslip, P60 or a valid UK passport.
  3. Once logged in, enter the date that you started working from home.
  4. If successful, HMRC will issue you a tax refund, usually in the form of a cheque.

Please note that if you pay tax via a self-assessment tax return, you won’t be able to use the online portal; instead you should apply for the relief in your tax return.

What is the deadline to apply for WFH tax relief?

If you worked from home during the 2020/21 and 2021/22 tax years but failed to apply for the rebate, you can still do so. HMRC has confirmed that taxpayers have until 5 April 2025 to make claims for the 2020/21 tax year, and until 5 April 2026 to make claims for the 2021/22 tax year.

Can you still claim for WFH tax relief?

Most people won’t be eligible for the relief any more as it’s no longer a legal requirement to work from home. Remember that you cannot claim if you choose to work from home. However, you can claim if you have additional household costs because your employer requires you to work from home. To claim for this, at least one of the following must apply:

  • You can’t perform your job on your employer’s premises because they don’t have the facilities for you to work there physically.
  • Your job requires you to live far away from your employer’s premises so that it would be unreasonable for you to travel there every day.
  • Government restrictions mean you must work from home (although these have now all been removed).

It is certainly worth the effort claiming the relief. If you need help claiming, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for some help.

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