Millions of people have just one month left to claim a £125 refund from the tax man, after Covid restrictions forced thousands of businesses to close their doors last March.
HMRC’s ‘work from home’ rebate, which applies even if you’ve only worked one day from home, is available to millions of people – and it takes just a few minutes to claim online.
HMRC told The Mirror applicants have until the end of the tax year – April 5 – to file for this year’s relief.
The money will automatically be returned in your next pay slip, with your tax code adjusted accordingly.
Working from home tax relief is designed to cover the extra costs associated with doing your job from your home, rather than the office, such as heating and a broadband upgrade.
But people cannot claim it if they choose to work from home – you have to have been told to by your employer.
Through it, bosses are allowed to pay you £6 a week extra – tax free – to cover any home-working expenses.
However, employees who have not received support from their employer can apply for it via HMRC instead.
How much will I get?
Taxpayers who are eligible can claim tax relief based on the rate at which they pay tax.
For example, if an employed worker pays the 20% basic rate of tax and claims tax relief on £6 a week, they would receive £1.20 a week in tax relief (20% of £6 a week) towards the cost of their household bills.
You can claim £2.40 a week if you pay the higher 40% tax rate.
Over the course of a year, this could mean taxpayers can reduce the tax they pay by £62.40 or £124.80.
So far, more than 50,000 tax relief claims have been made by home workers using a new online portal, HMRC figures show.
HMRC’s interim director general of customer services, Karl Khan, said: “We want everyone to get the money that they are entitled to, so we’ve made the online service as easy to use as we can – it takes just a few minutes to make a claim.”
What if I miss the deadline?
HMRC told us if you claim before April 2021, you will get the relief as part of your salary – your tax code will be adjusted.
However, those who miss the deadline won’t be locked out completely.
If you claim after April, you will get a lump sum payment instead, a spokesman said.
You can backdate P87 claims for four years, so there is still plenty of time to receive the relief.
How to claim yours
People can find out more and make a claim at gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home.
It takes less than 2 minutes to find out if you’re eligible for tax back.
To claim the money, you need a Government Gateway user ID and password.
If you don’t already have one, creating a Government Gateway ID usually takes about 10 minutes. It works best if you have:
- your National Insurance number
- a recent payslip or P60 or a valid UK passport
Once an application has been approved, the online portal adjusts the applicant’s tax code for the 2020/21 tax year.
Then you’ll receive the tax relief directly through your salary.
From universal credit to furlough, employment rights, travel updates and emergency financial aid – we’ve got all of the big financial stories you need to know about right now.
Sign up to our Mirror Money newsletter here.
HMRC is also reminding employees such as healthcare workers and care home staff, that they can also claim tax relief on work-related expenses, including cleaning uniforms.
The extra money can help thousands of workers whose efforts are helping save lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
Employees who clean, replace or repair uniform or tools, or pay fees and subscriptions for their work, can apply online directly to HMRC and see if they are eligible for tax relief on work expenses.
The taxman also said that in 2018/19, two-thirds of those claiming for expenses used an agent, rather than using HMRC directly. They will have had to pay fees or commission.
But people who are paid through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) can claim directly from HMRC and keep all the money.
HMRC is encouraging customers claiming tax relief for working from home to apply directly, and said agents will not be able to use the new service to apply for the relief on a customer’s behalf. This means customers will receive 100% of the tax relief due.