Employers are being urged to share information with home-working staff on how they can claim a £26-a-month tax deduction to help with household costs.
HMRC has simplified the process for claims and from April 6 this year introduced the flat rate tax-free allowance to help those working at home cover additional costs such as heat and electricity.
Alan Rolfe, senior tax manager at HWB Accountants, said: “Any employee who is required to work from home, and whose employer does not pay them a homeworking allowance, can claim the deduction for the additional costs they incur, directly from HMRC.
“Previously the application form was very complex and involved analysing bills to work out how much more energy and water was being used, and the cost of telephone calls. It was so painful that few employees attempted to make the claim.
“However, in the light of the lockdown, HMRC moved quickly to make this a much easier process and home workers can now claim the flat rate of £6 a week – equivalent to £26 per month – without having to justify that figure.
“I would urge employers to make their staff aware of this allowance, which over time can amount to a significant contribution to the household costs related to working from home.”
To successfully claim, employees must meet some conditions, and those who want to claim more than the flat rate must provide evidence of the additional costs.
Employees who complete a self assessment tax return can make a claim for their home working costs under the section in that form titled “using your home as an office”.
Most employees are not required to submit a tax return, so they can claim the tax deduction for homeworking expenses either online or by post on Form P87, or by phoning HMRC on 0300 200 3300.
HWB is one of the region’s leading chartered accountants and business advisers and works with clients across Hampshire, Dorset, West Sussex and Wiltshire. For more information, visit www.hwb-accountants.com