WORKERS heading back to the office can claim back up to £63 in tax to cover the extra cost of working from home during the coronavirus lockdown.
And with millions of people heading back to work, now is the perfect time to get your money back, according to Martin Lewis, founder of consumer site Money Saving Expert.
Tax can be claimed back on up to £6 a week to help cover the additional costs of working from home, such as higher energy bills.
Prior to April 6 when the new financial year began, tax could be claimed back on expenses of up to £4 a week.
It’s worth pointing out these rules have always existed and that they are for staff who are required to work from home, rather than for those who choose to do so.
Employers can reimburse staff directly for the costs incurred but many businesses are not in a position to do this, leaving employees claiming back the tax on these expenses themselves instead.
Money can also be claimed on expenses of more than £6 per week but it is more complicated, requiring evidence of the additional costs which can be tricky to do with something such as energy costs.
But Martin recommends those returning to the office make a claim now for the time they’ve been working from home.
Here’s what you need to know.
The amount of money people can get depends on their tax rate and it’s the highest rate of tax you pay that’s used.
For those paying the standard tax rate of 20%, £1.20 per week can be claimed.
While for people who pay tax at the higher rate of 40%, £2.40 per week can be claimed.
Additional rate tax payers who pay 45% can claim £2.70 a week.
Those who were required to work from home from the start of lockdown (March 23) and returned to the office this week can make a claim for 24 weeks.
That adds up to a refund of £28 for standard rate taxpayers, £56 for higher rate taxpayers, or £63 for additional rate taxpayers.
And for anyone working from home for longer, the total amount could be higher.
To claim tax back on working from home costs complete a P87 from online.
It’s fairly straightforward with a Government Gateway account which you may already have or you can set up.
Or you can complete a paper P87 form.
Anyone who already completes a self-assessment form can do it through that.
For a P87, you’ll need your employer’s name, your job title and your PAYE reference, something that’s found on payslips or a P60. You’ll also need your National Insurance number if sending by post.
In the section called “using your home as an office”, you’ll be asked to enter the amount you paid.
This is up to £6 per week and you won’t have to show receipts or prove this is how much you spent.
You’ll also be asked to enter the amount repaid by your employer. This will be zero if you haven’t been reimbursed.
If you have been reimbursed you can’t claim back the tax – your employer has already included this.
You usually get the money back by paying less tax, rather than receiving a refund. Your tax code may be adjusted to show this.
The time it takes for this to happen can vary and there are likely to be a larger number of claims than usual so there could be delays.
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