Are you working from home as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions over the past 2 years?  Well, in this article, we look at who is eligible and how to go about claiming tax relief on your household bills.

It is possible that you may be eligible to claim tax relief for any additional household costs if you’ve been forced to work from home on a regular basis,  Whether you’re working from home for part or all of the working week, you may be able to claim. This is extended to include working from home because of Covid-19

The Government website states that you can’t claim tax relief if it’s your choice to work from home.

Tax relief claims could apply to:

  • gas and electricity
  • metered water
  • business phone calls, including dial-up internet access

However, you cannot claim tax relief on all the bills, just the proportion of it that relates to your working hours. So, if you’re working for 20 hours a week from home, you’ll be able to claim tax relief on 20 hours of gas and electricity, metered water and business phone calls etc.

Working from home obviously costs more to you personally than if you were working from an office.  The Government has taken this into consideration and that’s why you can claim tax relief on a proportion of your household bills as a ‘business’ cost.

How much can you claim?

The Government website cites the following:

You can either claim tax relief on:

  • £6 a week from 6 April 2020 (for previous tax years the rate is £4 a week) – you will not need to keep evidence of your extra costs
  • the exact amount of extra costs you’ve incurred above the weekly amount – you’ll need evidence such as receipts, bills or contracts

You’ll get tax relief based on the rate at which you pay tax. For example, if you pay the 20% basic rate of tax and claim tax relief on £6 a week you would get £1.20 per week in tax relief (20% of £6). For more information check out the Government website here

How to check if you’re eligible

If you go onto the Government website, you’ll be required to answer the following questions –

  1. Are you only claiming tax relief on your expenses for working from home?
  2. Are you going to complete a self-assessment return for this tax year 2021-2022?
  3. Which years are you claiming tax relief for?
  4. Has your employer paid your expenses for working from home?
  5. Did you start working from home because of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Depending on the answers you give, you’ll be told immediately whether or not you can claim tax relief.

How to claim tax relief when working from home

Providing that you’re eligible by the answers you’ve given, you’ll then need a Government Gateway User ID and password.  If you haven’t already got access to the Government Gateway, you’ll need to set up your account.  To create an account, you’ll need:

  • Your National Insurance Number
  • A recent payslip, P60 or a valid UK passport

If you need any more clarification or require some assistance in completing your self-assessment tax return, then we would recommend you use the services of a reputable Accountancy firm.  We are Makinsons and Co, – a long established local firm of accountants specialising in the personal touch with both our business and personal clients. We are certified chartered accountants in The Forest of Dean and surrounding areas.

If you’re looking for local accountants, look no further than Makinson & Co. We offer a full range of accountancy services in Lydney & the surrounding areas. Our team of qualified, specialist staff can help with everything from accounts preparation and bookkeeping to payroll services, tax and VAT returns.