Workers can still claim tax breaks for working from home without providing evidence of increased bills, even after returning to the office, HM Revenue & Customs has confirmed.
You can still make claims if you have only spent one day in the home office since April 6, the tax office said. If you missed the discharge in the previous year at the start of the pandemic, you can still benefit by filing a retrospective application.
The tax break allows employers to pay workers up to £ 6 per week tax-free to cover additional costs if they had to work from home because of the coronavirus. If workers do not receive a £ 6 allowance from their employer, they can still take advantage of the tax break.
Employees paying basic income tax can claim a tax reduction of £ 1.20 per week – 20 percent of £ 6 – on the cost of their household bills. Taxpayers with a higher tax rate of 40% can claim £ 2.40 per week. Over the year this adds up to £ 62.40 for base payers and £ 124.80 for high earners, or doubles that amount if you also make a claim for the previous year.
Employees can submit applications via the HMRC online portal. Employees are not required to provide evidence that their bills have increased unless they apply for a tax break on expenses above the flat rate of £ 6 per week. This facility is usually intended for the self-employed who usually have higher expenses and proof of the increased costs may be required.
The flat-rate relief extends over the entire tax year, so regardless of how many days you worked at home or in the office, you get the same amount.
The tax exemption should only be a temporary measure due to the pandemic and should expire in March 2021. However, the government has extended the tax break to the 2021-22 tax year and anyone working from home can apply until April 2022.
The tax credit does not extend to new tax years. Anyone who submitted an application in the last year must therefore submit a new application in order to receive benefits again.
Around three million people claimed last year.
Once employees have submitted an application and the online application has been approved, HMRC will adjust their tax codes for the 2021-2022 tax year. The employee receives the tax relief directly from his salary until the end of March 2022.
Employees can receive the tax relief as a lump sum if they wait after the end of the tax year 2021/22 and submit an application.
The tax authorities said they wanted all workers to get “the money they are entitled to”.
A spokesman said: “We are aware that the situation of working from home is very fluid at the moment, so we accept claims for expenses for the whole year. This also applies if people only worked from home for part of the year so that they don’t have to contact us when they have to work from home again. “