Martin Lewis: How to get your hands on £280 if you worked from home

Martin Lewis, who runs the Moneysavingexpert website. Pic: Archant library

Martin Lewis, who runs the Moneysavingexpert website. Pic: Archant library - Credit: Archant

If you’re an employee who’s had to work from home even for just a couple of days in the past few years you could be owed up to £280 by HMRC.

That’s because it’s now confirmed that if you’ve had to work from home during the pandemic, and had extra costs, you can get relief for the entire tax year.

What is the tax relief? 

It’s always been the case that if your employer has required you to work from home, and you’ve had additional costs because of it (eg heating or electricity) then you’re able to claim for these increased costs - known as the working from home (wfh) tax relief.

Yet apportioning extra costs, such as heating and electricity, is tough. Due to that, there is a flat rate of £6 a week available to you, which you can get either: 

  •  An extra £6/week tax-free from your employer. They don’t have to give you that, and in fact most employers aren’t giving it as they are most likely struggling.
  • If you’re not getting that from your employer, then you can get £6 tax-relief.
    To make the process easy, HMRC says that for claims in line with the employers' payment (ie, £6 a week), you won't need to keep receipts or prove information (if you have bigger expenses and want to claim more, you would need to prove it).

The tax relief of £6 a week equates to a gain of:

- £1.20 a week for a basic 20% rate taxpayer (£62.40 a year)

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- £2.40 a week for a higher 40% rate taxpayer (£124.80 a year)

- £2.70 a week for a top 45% rate taxpayer (£140.40 a year)

And a few weeks ago, as the new 2021/22 tax year started on 6 April, HMRC decided to continue that microservice for 2021/22 too – which means many can now claim two year’s worth of relief - worth up to £280.

How to claim: 

To process claims, most employees (including part timers) can use the microservice at www.Gov.uk.

The exception to this is if you do a self-assessment tax form, in which case you can still claim but it’s a different route – see my www.moneysavingexpert.com/WFHtaxrelief guide for help with that. To use the microservice you need a Government Gateway ID. If you don't have one, you can set one up along the way.

You'll also be asked if you're claiming any other work-related expenses. So, if you wear a uniform to work, do read about the www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/uniform-tax-refund as you may be able to claim that too.

It only takes five minutes to do online for free (don’t pay anyone) and I get swamped with messages from people who can't believe how quickly and easily this happens.

In fact, since I’ve pushed it over two million have applied and if you're thinking, "I won't claim as I don't feel I deserve it", why not claim and donate it to a charity that helps those who have struggled during this time?).

Martin Lewis is the founder of MoneySavingExpert.com.

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