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HMRC Tax Rebate Explained – Work From Home

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Aug 04, 2022
4 minutes read

Although working from home offers lots of ways to save on work-related expenses such as transport and coffees, there are still minor spends you’ll incur from the comfort of your home.

Thanks to the HMRC tax rebate for working from home, it’s now possible to reclaim tax on your monthly tax-free allowance which adds up to at least £24 each month.

News to you? You’re not alone.

According to the HMRC only 14% of the UK’s population of remote workers have accessed work from home tax relief. The rebate is intended to cover the many invisible spends we make during remote working as we use the energy and resources in our own homes to power our working day whilst at home.

Providing a tax credit of what could be around £125, possibly more each year, depending on the rat of tax you pay, the tax rebate for working from home is well worth exploring. Here’s all you need to know about the HMRC’s home working financial support scheme.

To date, the HMRC calculates almost 5 million of us could be entitled to make a claim for working from home and haven’t. Read on to find out how you can ensure you get what you’re owed.

work at home working late at night young woman writing on paper with pen

Let’s take a look at what the working from home tax rebate is, how much you can claim and how the scheme works, using the following questions:

  • What is the HMRC tax rebate for working from home?
  • How much can I claim through work for home tax relief?
  • When should I apply for HMRC working from home tax relief?
  • How will I receive the WFH tax rebate?
  • Can I backdate the HMRC tax rebate for working from home?
  • Who is eligible for the tax rebate for working from home?
  • How do I claim the tax rebate for working from home?

What Is The HMRC Tax Rebate For Working From Home?

The tax rebate for working from home is a type of tax allowance awarded for the small quantity of household resources we consume when we work away from the office.

From stacks of post-it notes to kWh of electricity and hours on your broadband, these household expenses soon stack up meaning the UK government’s weekly work from home tax rebate can provide welcome assistance.

Financial assistance for home working via HM Revenue and Customs has been provided by the UK government since 2003. Although remote working has been a growing option for workers in recent years, the work from home tax relief really came into its own during the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic.

So, if you've worked from home, don't forget to claim.

How Much Can I Claim Through Work From Home Tax Relief?

To support the enormous number of people who worked from home across the UK between 2020 and for some, until 2022, amendments were made to the scheme’s existing requirements so that larger numbers of us could access the tax rebate.

Amended eligibility criteria saw the £4 tax-free weekly allowance increase to £6. In some cases it’s even possible to qualify for more (you will need to provide supporting evidence or this higher bracket of tax relief).

The government’s £6 tax-free weekly allowance gives you, on average, a weekly tax rebate of around £1.20 for household expenses incurred whilst you worked from home.

The precise figure each person receives is based on your individual tax rate. £1.20 relates to expenses accrued when paid on a basic tax rate. This figure equates to annual tax savings of around £62.40 for those on a basic rate of tax and around £124.80 for those falling within higher tax brackets.

Best of all, a desire support as many of us as possible saw a temporary end to the supporting documents which were previously required s evidence of a claim, much like claiming from business expenses from work. Now you no longer need stacks of receipts to make a claim.

When Should I Apply For HMRC Working From Home Tax Relief?

The government’s tax rebate for working from home is still active. You can apply for work from home tax relief at any time of the year.

Some people prefer to apply for the work from home rebate at the end of the tax year but this is not necessary. Indeed, as I’ll explain later, it’s always best to apply for government schemes as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss out.

How Will I Receive The WFH Tax Rebate?

Credited automatically by the HMRC, the WFH tax rebate is immediately added back to your salary after your tax deductions have been made. Look out for an adjustment to your tax code to reflect the update to your taxable earnings.

Another way to make a claim for the work from home tax rebate is to make a single annual claim. Annual claims for WFH tax relief can result in a welcome cheque from the HMRC for the full yearly sum.

However, 12 months is a long time in policy-making. If you delay your application for tax relief, there’s always a risk the terms of the scheme could change before your 12 months is up.

In 2022, for example, the terms of the scheme were altered, leaving a percentage of previous claimants no longer able eligible for the rebate.

As we move further away from the dizzying heights of the Covid-19 Pandemic it’s likely the conditions for work from home tax relief may become increasingly narrow so sooner rather than later is the best approach for applications to government schemes such as this. For more information on how to claim working from home tax relief, read our article.

Can I Backdate The Tax Rebate for Working From Home?

Yes. You’ll be pleased to know you can backdate the tax rebate for working from home. You can claim for a maximum of four years in total and these rebates are credited to you in a single payment.

Technically that means, if the scheme’s still running under the same terms you could claim for this financial year by the end of April in four years time. However, we know how often the finer details of government schemes change so if you do have backdated claims, it’s best to apply for them as soon as you can.

Who is Eligible for Working From Home Tax Relief?

Like all government schemes, the eligibility criteria for working from home tax relief is subject to changing conditions.

If you want to make a backdated claim for home working undertaken during the pandemic, amended criteria which introduced obligatory home working as qualifying conditions mean lots of us can make a claim for the period which stretched from April 2020 to April 2022.

However, if your employer paid your expenses or you are self-employed you will not be eligible for work from home tax relief.

Since 2022, eligibility has been returned closer to pre-pandemic requirements meaning only those who are unable to work at their workplace for a reason can make a claim for working from home tax relief.

Counting out those who are contracted to organise working hours using flexible working, qualifying applicants must work at home for a reason other than lifestyle choices.

For example, qualifying applicants may have had to work at home during a bout of Covid when workplace policy meant they had to work from home. Another example might be if your workplace is located a long way from home with poor transport link

How Do I Claim The Tax Rebate for Working From Home?

See if you qualify for working from home tax relief now. Use our online tool to check if you’re eligible in less than 60 seconds. If you want further assistance, our experts are on hand to help you review your claim and confirm eligibility.

See what else you could be owed.

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