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Working from home due to COVID-19? Claim one year’s worth of tax relief

As a result of Covid-19, HM Revenue & Customs have revamped the system for working-from-home tax relief, with a brand new microservice to simplify the process.

Incredibly, this has resulted in a policy change, for this year only, whereby HM Revenue & Customs will, presumably in an effort to cut down on the administration involved in dealing with multiple claims, apply the claim for the full year. HMRC have said: “We recognise that the working-from-home situation is very fluid this year, so we’re accepting claims for the full year’s expenses. That includes even if people have only worked from home for some of the year, to avoid needing to contact us if you have to work from home again.”

In Oct 2020, HMRC changed the system so you get a whole year’s relief and, for this tax year only, you only need to claim once, and you automatically get it applied for ALL of this tax year at the £6/week relief rate. That is worth £62/year for basic rate taxpayers, £124/year at the higher rate.

The basic principle remains the same. You must be required to work from home and are not already receiving reimbursement from your employer. Under the current Covid-19 restrictions, HM Revenue & Customs has confirmed that as long as you are required to work at home and have additional expenses as a result, even if…

  • You are only working from home part-time
  • Others are going into work
  • You are only needed to work at home, say, one day in five and were in the office the rest of the week

… you can still claim the full £6/week allowance for the entire 2020/21 tax year.

How to claim the tax relief

To process these claims, in October 2020, HMRC set up a new working-from-home microservice that will automatically apply the whole 2020/21 tax year’s relief via your tax code. Anyone making a claim for this tax year who hasn’t already put in a claim, can use it.You will need to have a Government Gateway ID to do it, although if you do not already have one, you can create one as part of the process.