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If you’ve been working out of the office because of the coronavirus pandemic, did you know that you can actually claim tax back for working from home?
According to the Office for National Statistics, it’s estimated that nearly half of all UK adults were working from home during the height of the pandemic. Besides regular cups of tea and being able to stay in your pyjamas all day, the WFH luxury does come with some extra costs. You might have seen both your electric and heating bills rise over the past few months, or maybe you bought office furniture. As a result, HMRC have made it possible for people working from home to claim tax relief for these expenses.
If you’re unsure whether you qualify, what you can claim, and how to apply, we’ve put together a handy blog to answer this very thing.
Here’s everything you need to know about claiming tax back for working from home.
Before you can apply, you need to check whether you’re actually eligible to claim tax back for working from home. To claim, HMRC state that you must:
If you were told to work from home by your employer, even if it was just for one day, you could still apply to claim tax relief for the whole 2020/21 tax year.
The amount you’ll actually receive varies from person to person. The total amount you can claim is worth up to £125 a year, but the actual amount you’ll receive depends on the tax rate you pay. HMRC entitles everyone to claim tax relief of £6 a week, which means:
HMRC do not require you to keep evidence of your extra costs.
If you’re eligible to claim tax back for working from home, just head to the government’s microsite.
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create a Government Gateway user ID and password. To do this, you need your National Insurance Number and either a recent payslip, P60 or a valid passport. Once you’ve logged in, you’ll provide information to ensure you’re eligible, such as the date you started working from home.
HMRC will give you a rebate for the full tax year, even if you’ve only worked from home for a day, and if you’re unsure when you’ll return to the workplace. If your claim is successful, your PAYE tax code will be changed. You’ll receive the tax relief through this, meaning you’ll be able to take home more of your income before tax.
If you’re self-employed or pay tax through a Self Assessment, then the way you claim tax back for working from home is a little different.
Self-employed workers can claim for a more proportional part of the costs when working from home. As long as they are used for work, this includes:
HMRC will require you to work out this proportion. You do this by accounting for the amount of time you spend at home for work, as well as the size of the area within your house that you use for work purposes.
If you work at home for more than 25 hours a week you can use HMRC’s simplified expenses system. This uses a flat rate based on the hours you work from home each month.
You claim tax back through your Self Assessment tax return, which you will submit annually to declare your earnings. Expenses you’ve incurred from working from home will be deducted by HMRC from your profits, reducing your overall tax bill.
If you want to know how much you can save on your tax return, take a look with our handy income tax calculator below!
When you’re self-employed, you have to pay your income tax and national insurance contributions yourself in your annual Self Assessment. Our calculator helps you quickly assess how much you owe.
However you may be eligible for a tax refund when:
In your case when you earn £50,000:
You pay no income tax on first £12,570 that you make
You pay £7,286 at basic income tax rate (20%) on the next £36,430
No contributions on the first £9,568 that you make
You pay £3,549 in contributions (at 9%) on the next £39,432 that you make
You pay £159 in NI Class 2 contributions
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