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Can I claim tax back for working from home?

  • 3 min read
  • 24 Jan 2024
work from home tax relief

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.

Am I eligible to claim 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:

  • Not pay tax via Self Assessment
  • Not have already had your expenses paid for by your employer
  • Encountered higher costs due to working from home
  • Not be working from home by choice

The WFH tax relief as a result of COVID lockdowns is no longer available to be claimed.

How much tax relief will I get?

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:

  1. Basic 20% rate taxpayers can claim £1.20 (20% of £6) a week. This is a gain of £60 a year
  1. Higher 40% rate taxpayers can claim £2.40 (40% of £6) a week. This is a gain of £125 a year

HMRC do not require you to keep evidence of your extra costs.

How do I claim tax relief for working from home?

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.

But wait, I’m self-employed!

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:

  •  Heating
  • Lighting
  • Insurance
  • Mortgage interest
  • Water rates 
  • General maintenance

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. 

Can I use simplified expenses?

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!

Your situation

Outlined number oneImage of an arrow
I am
Annual self-employed income
Self-employed expenses

Tax and profit

Outlined number two
  • Total earnings
    £1,000 tax-free Trading Allowance
  • Tax to pay
    £7,286 income tax
    £0 class 2 National Insurance
    £2,186 class 4 National Insurance
  • What you’re left with

How your income tax is calculated

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:

  1. You already made tax payments for the year but your annual income ended up less than planned
  2. You have done things that qualify for a tax relief (made private pension contributions, given to charity, etc.)

In your case when you earn £50,000:

Income tax breakdown

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

National insurance contributions breakdown

No contributions on the first £12,570 that you make

You pay £2,186 in contributions (at 6%) on the next £36,430 that you make

You pay £0 in NI Class 2 contributions

Tax bill amount £9,472
I want to pay by
Savings frequency

You need to save

£14.22 per day

to pay your £9,471.56 tax bill by 31/1/2026 which is in 666 days

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