HMRC has launched an online portal to help taxpayers claim tax relief for working from home during the pandemic.

From 6 April 2020, employees can claim a tax-free amount of £6 a week to cover the additional costs of working from home. For a basic rate taxpayer, this works out to tax relief of £62.40 over the course of 2020/21, with relief of £124.80 for a higher rate taxpayer.

Taxpayers do not have to provide any evidence, such as increased bills, to support the £6 a week claim.

What to claim

For 2020/21, HMRC, in recognition of the unusual circumstances, are generously permitting a claim for the entire year regardless of how many weeks you are required to work from home. It doesn’t matter if you only work at home one or two days a week. If two or more people work from the same home, then each person is entitled to make a claim.

The amount to claim for 2020/21 is £312 (52 weeks at £6). The online portal can also be used to claim for the final two weeks of 2019/20 after the lockdown commenced.

The online portal

There are two circumstances when the online portal is not applicable:

  • When your employer is reimbursing the £6 a week allowance – you are already benefiting from the tax-free amount.
  • If you complete a self-assessment tax return – the expense claim should instead be made on the return.

Do not expect a tax refund once an online claim is made. Relief is given by adjusting your PAYE coding, so this will reduce PAYE over the remainder of 2020/21.

You can check here if you are entitled to claim work-related expenses, and then, if entitled, proceed with a claim.