Martin Lewis of MoneySavingExpert is back with fresh advice for saving money. And this could be of particular interest to those of us who currently have to work at home as a result of the pandemic and foresee that being the case for the coming months, if not longer.
According to Lewis, if you're required to work from home it is – and has always been – an option to claim a rate of approximately £6 per week for the costs ensued as a result of working from home. In real terms, this means increased cost of heating, electricity, etc. And given the sheer volume of people working from home at the moment, this information could be particularly relevant – and help you save money in the long-term.
Discover more about how to make a claim below. Or check out our energy comparison advice to make even more of a saving.
How to claim £300 a year if you're working from home
According to Lewis, writing in his blog (opens in new tab), HMRC has said that they will consider claims from those working from home as a direct result of coronavirus if doing so has been your only option – which is the case for the majority of people. While it's possible to claim more – though doing so is a more complex process – Lewis suggests that you should anticipate a basic rate of £6 per week to cover costs.
The process is expected to look a little something like this:
- Your employer can pay £6 per week extra tax-free: it's possible to approach your employer directly and ask them to set up a tax-free allowance which will cover this cost. You can negotiate for a higher rate, but this is slightly more complex.
- You can claim tax relief on £6 per week (worth £1.20/wk at 20% tax, £2.40/wk at a higher rate): if you don't think it's the best time to ask your employer, you can approach HMRC directly and ask for the amount to be dedicated from your taxable income.
So, how can you go about claiming tax relief? There are a few options available to you:
- Self-assessment form: if you usually fill out a self-assessment form, it's possible to claim in this way.
- Filling out a P87 form: it's relatively easy to claim by filling our a P87 form. This can either be done by completing an online P87 form (opens in new tab), or by filling out a postal P87 form (opens in new tab). Here you'll be asked to provide details of your employer and your PAYE reference, as well as your job title. According to Lewis, the most important section of this form is titled: 'using your home as an office.'
Can you claim retrospectively?
All claims must be made retrospectively, so it's recommended that you wait until you're back at work and can make a complete claim in one go. He suggests that rather than receiving a refund, you'll likely have your tax code adjusted over the coming year.
Once you've completed the form, Lewis suggests you should hear back within a couple of weeks. Though given the pressure HMRC are likely under at the moment, this may take a little longer.
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