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Can I claim for working at home due to Coronavirus?

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Published 28 June 2020

Can I claim for working at home due to Coronavirus?

The short answer is yes you can – you can claim for working from home at any home, not just due to Coronavirus, although there are more people working at home now!

OK, so how much can I claim?

The answer to this question is that it depends.  There are two options to make your claim:-

Flat rate claim

You can claim the flat rate allowed by HMRC of £6 per week, however, for such a low amount it is almost not worth the effort to claim.

If you make a claim for the flat rate allowance you do not need to maintain records or any form of proof to justify your claim – which is fair enough for such a tiny claim.

Apportionment of costs

Using the apportionment option, you make a claim based on the actual costs incurred.  This would include an apportionment of your costs such as light and heat, council tax, mortgage interest (not the full payment), insurance, cleaning etc.

We usually recommend our clients to list out all the costs of running their house and apportion them based on the number of rooms used for business and the percentage of time used.

So for example if your total costs were £7,000 per year, there are 5 rooms in your house, with 1 used for business 75% of the time, the calculation would look as follows:-

£7,000 x 1/5 x 75% = £1,050

Should you choose this method to make your claim you will need to keep workings for your claim. 

We have a free calculator, in Google Sheets. Access here

Other considerations

You do need to take care when making claims such as these as you can inadvertently trigger other taxes such as capital taxes, equally if your claim comes under scrutiny from HMRC and is found not to be justified, then you could be taxed on the amounts paid to you. 

If you complete a self assessment tax return, it is recommended that you include entries for this allowance, albeit there will be no tax to pay.

Get your accountant to check your claim, so if you have any problems with HMRC, you can pass them over to your accountant!

How can I claim (if your employer is not paying you the allowance)

If you typically complete your own self-assessment tax form, you’ll be able to claim for this tax relief on it. However, for those who don’t use the self-assessment system, the P87 form must be completed. It’s possible to do this either on paper to be sent through the post or online via the Government Gateway.

To claim, you will have to complete your employer’s PAYE reference and name. This information is shown on your P60 or your payslip). You will also have to supply your job title. If you are apply by post, you’ll have to complete the form with your National Insurance number too.

The section you’ll need to complete is called “using your home as an office”. If you aren’t eligible for any tax relief on the other work-related costs such as the uniform tax rebate you can simply leave those sections blank.

In the “amount paid by you” box you simply put an amount equivalent to £6 per week to cover the entire period that you have been working at home. There is no need for any further evidence.

In the “amount paid to you by your employer” box you can put £0 if your employer hasn’t reimbursed your expenses or given you an allowance to work from home.

If you’re using a postal form to make your claim, you’ll have to add the “ssing Yyur home as an office” expense yourself under the section dedicated to “other expenses”.

When do I claim?

You will be claiming retrospectively for your expenses so, if you’re just working from home because of Coronavirus you should wait until you’ve returned to work before making the entire claim at one time. It’s likely HMRC will adjust your tax code to allow you to pay a reduced amount of tax across the year rather than giving you a refund.