How to claim tax relief if you’re working from home due to COVID-19

23 October, 2020 · 2 min read

Here’s some good news if you’re running a small business on the side of your day job. Anyone who’s been told to work from home by their employer to help stop the spread of COVID-19 can now claim tax relief. You can claim if you’ve been asked to work from home since 6th April – even if it was only for one day. Cha-ching!

How much is the tax relief?

You can claim a tax relief of £6 per week, without needing to provide any receipts. If you’re paying the basic 20% tax rate, that’s an extra £1.20 per week –  or if you’re on the 40% tax rate, you’ll get £2.40 per week. When you’re starting up your own business, every bit helps!

You can claim more than £6 per week, but you’ll need to supply evidence of the additional costs incurred, and be able to attribute these costs to the fact you’re having to work from home. 

Can I really claim for the whole year, even if I only WFH for one day?

Absolutely! HMRC has said:

"We recognise that the working-from-home situation is very fluid this year, so we're accepting claims for the full year's expenses. That includes even if people have only worked from home for some of the year, to avoid needing to contact us if you have to work from home again."

How do I claim tax relief for working from home?

Head over to the new HMRC tax relief microservice page and follow the instructions there. You’ll need to have your Government Gateway ID to hand – if you don’t have one yet, you can set it up during this process.

Will I get a cheque in the post?

Forget cheques – if your claim is successful your tax code will be updated a few days later, which tells your employer how much tax to deduct through PAYE. This will mean slightly less tax is taken off you each month for the rest of this tax year, meaning you end up with more money.

Can I claim this tax relief if I submit Self Assessment tax returns?

Unfortunately not. If you’re employed, but do your tax via Self Assessment each year, you won’t be able to use this new microservice. However, you can claim the allowance on your Self Assessment form (it’s section 20 on the full return, and section 2.5 on the short form). When you complete your Self Assessment form you’ll be able to automatically claim for the entire year, in the same way as employees on PAYE can via the microservice. 

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