Working from home?

Claiming your £6 per week tax back through a P87.

When COVID-19 ground the country to a halt back in March many of us went from working in a busy work environment to remotely from home, if this is you, you joined millions of other taxpayers cross the country remotely logging in rather than commuting.

Even now in October many are still fulfilling the requirement to work remotely from home and are therefore eligible to claim for increased costs of this. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) says it will consider claims from those who have been forced to work from home due to coronavirus if their usual workplace.

In simple terms this means if you are working from home and incurring extra costs such as electricity and internet costs you can claim £6 per week. There are a few ways to do this the first is your employer can pay you £6 a week extra tax free, employers can give employee an allowance up to this amount however with current circumstance employers may be struggling so it may not be the best time to ask. The other way is you can ask for this amount to be deducted from your taxable income to make that process easier HMRC states that claims in line with the employer’s payment (eg £6per week) will not need to justify that figure meaning you won’t need to keep receipts or prove information.  The impact of a £6 per week claim is the tax savings, its gain of £1.20 per week so £62 across the span of a year for 20% basic rate tax payers and double £124 a year for those in the 40% bracket. If you believe you have higher costs you are able to claim more however you will need evidence of the cost and be able to prove this as an expense.

Those who are working from home part time re still eligible to claim for this allowance and are still eligible to claim the full £6 amount whether it be a payment from your employer or as a tax break. You don’t have to declare on the forms that you are working part or full time at home as you’ll see below.

If you are making the claim and usually do a self-assessment form you can claim that way, however for the most you will need to fill out a P87 form which can be done online or via the postal system depending on which Is easier for you. See the link to both forms below:

Online.

Postal.

To make the claims you will need your employers name and PAYE reference which can be found on either a payslip or your P60 form. If your completing via post you’ll also need your national insurance number. The main section you will need to fill in is entitled ‘using your home as an office’ see below:

As you can see there are two boxes ‘Amount paid by you’ and ‘Amount repaid to you by your employer’

Amount paid by you – As stated by HMRC if you have had increased costs put a total in this box of £6/per week for the period you have been working from home and you will not need to provide evidence for those expenses.

Amount repaid to you by your employer – If your employer has not contributed any payments to you for a home allowance or homeworking expenses this amount will be £0.

If you’re claiming via the postal form you will ned to add a ‘Using your home as an office’ expense manually in the ‘Other expenses’ section.

This claim is best made once you’re back at work as you are only able to claim retrospectively for expenses that mean you are at home due to COVID19 however under the current new Lockdown circumstances it may be applicabale to claim and then claim again at the end of next year when we will hopefully be back to ‘normal’ working practice.

This in turn will mean you will be issued with a new tax code so you pay less tax over the course of the remaining tax year, you won’t get a direct refund in most if not all cases.

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