ANYONE who has worked from home because of the pandemic can claim money back – even if it was just for one day.
Martin Lewis is reminding people that they can get as much as £125 of tax back and there’s a very simple tool to make a claim.
Thousands of people have claimed tax back this yearCredit: Rex Features
Nearly 2million Brits have already done this, said Martin in a blog post on Money Saving Expert this week.
The figures from HMRC show 1.76million people have used the online tool since the coronavirus crisis started.
Thousands more people have claimed money back this month – at the start of January HMRC told The Sun it was 1.45m.
The money is designed to help you cover the extra expense of working from home, like heating and lighting your home.
What you’ll need to make a working from home tax claim
YOU’LL need the following basic information to hand before you make tax claim via HMRC:
- Something to prove your identity – this could be a passport, driving licence, or you can answer various questions based on your credit file
- A P60 or payslip from July 2020 onwards
- National insurance number
- Your Government Gateway user ID and password or you can create a user ID if you do not already have one.
The support has always been there but with lockdowns forcing millions more people to work from home, the government has made it easier to claim.
The online tool was introduced in October and instead of having to work out the number of days or weeks you’ve worked from home for, you can get it for the whole year, even if it was just one day.
How much can I claim?
The amount of money you get back depends on your tax rate and your employer must have required you to work from home to make a claim.
Your employer can effectively pay you £6 a week extra tax-free to cover expenses.
But with many firms struggling right now, it’s more likely you’ll instead claim tax relief on the £6 a week.
People paying the standard level of tax of 20% can get £1.20 a week in tax relief.
While for people who pay tax at the higher rate of 40%, you’d get £2.40 a week.
So claim for the entire 2020/21 tax year and that’s tax relief of:
- £62.40 for basic rate taxpayers
- £124.80 for higher rate tax payers
- £140.40 for additional rate tax payers
You don’t get a cash pay out, instead your tax code is changed so you pay less tax equivalent to the amount of tax relief you get.
What can I claim tax relief on?
THERE are certain things that you can claim tax on under HMRC rules. They include the following:
- Expenses for working from home
- Repairing or replacing small tools needed to do their job (for example, scissors or an electric drill)
- Cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing (for example, a branded uniform or safety boots)
- Business mileage (not commuting)
- Travel and overnight expenses
- Professional fees and subscriptions
How do I claim the cash?
If you haven’t already submitted a claim for this tax year (April 6, 2020 to April 5, 2021), HMRC has an online tool to help you claim it in one go.
Once the application has been approved, the online portal will adjust your tax code for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
You will then receive the tax relief directly through your salary and will continue to receive the adjustment until April 5, 2021.
This means you won’t get a one off payment, instead it will be included as part of your weekly or monthly payments from your employer.
You’ll be able to see the money on your payslips.
Workers can also use the tool to claim going back the past four tax years if at any point they’ve been required to work from home.
In this case you’ll receive a lump sum payment instead of a monthly salary boost.
In other tax news, the deadline to submit self assessment tax returns is in a few weeks – and millions are Brits yet to file theirs.