Everything you can claim if you're working from home

Working from home has become commonplace in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic – and it could be about to become even more so once again after the Government asked people to once again work remotely where possible.

Despite originally telling people to return to work, the Government performed a U-turn on that directive yesterday as they tightened coronavirus restrictions once again – with Boris Johnson telling people to ‘work from home where you can’.

With that in mind, it’s worth noting that if you are facing months of working remotely, that you can still claim expenses – and there is quite a lot that you could potentially claw back.

Just what can you claim if you’re working from home?

What can you claim if you’re working from home?

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Here are just some of the things that you can claim back during remote working…

Tax relief

The government’s website states that you can claim tax relief on some of your bills if you are required to work from home – however you cannot do so if you are working from home by choice.

These also only apply to things that you use in the course of your work, for example, you can claim on business phone calls or on gas and electricity – however, you cannot claim on things which are used both for personal and business reasons, such as rent or broadband.

From April 6 2020 your employer can pay you up to £6 per week – to a maximum of £26 per month – to cover any additional costs incurred as a result of working from home.

This is an increase from the previous rate of £4 a week, to a maximum of £18 per month.

You will not need to keep any records of these costs, but if you claim for costs above this amount you will need to provide evidence of their use.

You can find out more information on gov.uk.

If you are already filing a self-assessment tax return, you can claim for this under the section on the form called Using Your Home As An Office – otherwise you will need to fill in a P87 form at the end of the tax year.

Office equipment

If you have had to buy certain equipment, such as a computer for example, to do your work at home, you can claim for relief on this, as it qualifies for a type of allowance known as Annual Investment Allowance.

If your employer gave you money to buy the work equipment, you can also claim tax relief on the sum of money they gave you, since the Government has created a temporary Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions exemption for this.

Once again you can find out more information here.

Car and transport

If you have been given a company car this is normally liable for tax and National Insurance – but if you’ve not used it since March due to working remotely you can return it to your employer.

You can do this by returning the keys to them – you don’t have to give the vehicle back – and after 30 days it will be regarded as ‘unavailable’ to you.

You won’t be able to claim backdated tax relief if you’ve not used the car in a few months – but if you’re likely to be working remotely for several more months consider speaking to your employer about whether or not you can give back your company car in this way.

If you plan on doing this it’s also worth asking them about removing the fuel benefit tax – a tax that you have to pay for using the fuel that’s paid for by your employer.

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