Everyone WFH can now apply for a tax refund of up to £124

Jennifer Savin
·3-min read
Photo credit: Constantine Johnny - Getty Images
Photo credit: Constantine Johnny - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Remember back in March when Boris Johnson addressed the nation and said something along the lines of "those of you who can work from home, should work from home, but don't go out, or go out... but stay in" etc? Well, ever since, millions of us waved goodbye to the office in favour of our kitchen tables/bedroom desks/ironing boards-moonlighting-as-a-work-station. And it's not always been easy.

As tough as it might have felt at times, there's a small silver lining that could help to ease some of that pain: those who were formally told to work from home by their employer, in order to help stop the spread of coronavirus, can now claim tax relief of up to £124.

Keen to know if you're eligible to claim? The deal is pretty much as follows: from 6 April 2020 (two weeks after the full national lockdown was enforced) employers have been told to pay employees up to £6 a week tax-free in order to cover any additional costs of WFH. We're unsure if that means having to buy our own coffee, or a new mousemat, but either way – delighted at the news.

If you've not received this WFH expenses payment directly from your company, then the rules stat you're eligible to apply to receive a tax relief from HM Revenue and Customs (also known as HMRC).

Photo credit: PeilingLeeCopyright - Getty Images
Photo credit: PeilingLeeCopyright - Getty Images

The amount of tax relief depends on the rate at which you pay tax – for instance, if somebody pays the basic 20% rate of tax, they'd be able to claim back 20% of £6 for each week they've spent working at home. Over the course of a year that would add up to £62.40. For those on the higher rate of 40%, a year's worth of tax relief would be a very tasty £124.80.

If you're ready to stop reading this article and get the ball rolling yourself, HMRC have set up a handy portal on its website (that you can reach by clicking here). From there, you'll need to answer a questionnaire to check you meet the right criteria. Anybody who is will need to ensure they have their National Insurance number, plus a recent payslip or a P60 or a valid UK passport to hand in order to progress.

Then, you'll be asked to create a Government Gateway user ID (if you don't already have one), which takes roughly ten minutes. When the application has been approved by the HMRC folk, your tax code for the 2020 to 2021 will be changed and you'll receive the relief in your salary (while continuing to benefit from the adjustment until March next year).

And that's that!

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