Workers can still apply for home tax relief without showing proof of increased bills, even if they returned to the office, HM Revenue & Customs confirmed.
You can still claim even if you’ve only spent a day in a home office since April 6, the tax administration said. If you missed the relief the year before when the pandemic first started, you can still benefit by submitting a backdated request.
The tax break allows employers to pay workers up to £ 6 per week tax-free to cover additional costs if they have had to work from home because of the coronavirus. If workers do not receive the £ 6 allowance from their employer, they can still claim the tax break.
Workers who pay income tax at the base rate can claim £ 1.20 per week of tax relief – 20pc of £ 6 – to cover the cost of their family bills. Higher rate 40pc taxpayers can claim £ 2.40 per week. Over the course of the year this amounts to £ 62.40 for base rate taxpayers and £ 124.80 for higher income, or double that if you also claim the previous year.
Employees can claim through the HMRC online portal. Employees do not need to provide evidence showing that their bills have increased unless they request tax relief on costs above the flat rate of £ 6 per week. This facility is generally intended for the self-employed who typically have larger expenses and proof of increased costs may be required.
The flat-rate relief covers the entire tax year, so you’ll receive the same amount regardless of how many days you’ve worked at home or in the office.
The allowance was only supposed to be a temporary measure due to the pandemic and was due to end in March 2021. But the government has extended the tax break until tax year 2021-22 and anyone working from home can file a claim until April 2022.
Tax relief does not apply to new tax years. Thus, anyone who made a request last year will have to submit a new request to obtain benefits again.
About three million people claimed last year.
Once workers submit an application and the online application has been approved, HMRC will adjust its tax codes for the 2021-2022 tax year. The employee will benefit from the tax relief directly via his salary until the end of March 2022.
Employees can get the tax break in the form of a lump sum payment if they wait and claim after the 2021-2022 tax year is over.
The tax administration has said it wants all workers “to receive the money to which they are entitled”.
A spokesperson said, “We recognize that the work-from-home situation is very fluid right now, so we are accepting claims for full year expenses. This even includes if people have only worked from home for part of the year, to avoid having to contact us if you need to work from home again. “