• Alex Howard

Employees, can you claim tax relief for expenses of working from home?

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that more employees worked from home than ever before. This trend looks set to continue following the Government’s latest advice to continue to work from home where you can do so. Further, many business plan to embrace flexible working beyond the end of the pandemic, allowing employees to work from home some or all of the time where their job allows this.

However, while working from home may save the cost of the commute, there are expenses associated with working from home. Is the employee able to claim tax relief where these are not met by the employer?


Additional household expenses

As a result of working from home, an employee will incur the cost of additional household expenses, such as additional electricity and gas costs, additional cleaning costs, and such like. During the Covid-19 pandemic, HMRC confirmed that employees are able to claim a deduction for additional household expenses attributable to working from home of £6 per week without supporting evidence. Where the actual additional costs are more than £6 per week, tax relief can be claimed for the full amount, as long as the employee can substantiate the claim. For example, this could be done by comparing bills prior to working from home with those during the working at home period.


Homeworking equipment

Employees may have needed to buy office equipment, such as a computer and a printer, to enable them to work from home. Where these costs are not reimbursed by the employer, HMRC have confirmed that employee can claim a tax deduction for the actual expenditure incurred, as long as it was incurred ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily’ in the performance of the duties of the employment.


Other expenses

To claim relief for other expenses employees will need to pass the general test that the expense was incurred ‘wholly, necessarily and exclusively’ in the performance of the duties of the employment. Care must be taken to distinguish between expenditure which puts the employee in the position to do their job as opposed to being incurred in the performance of it. Childcare, for example, would fall into the former category.

Relief is also denied for dual purpose expenditure, such as an office chair which enables the employee to be comfortable while working, as this fails the ‘exclusively’ part of the test.


Making claims

Where the conditions for tax relief are met, a deduction can be claimed on form P87 (available on the Gov.uk website) or, where the employee completes a tax return, on the employment pages of the return.


Want to know more or speak to us?

If you have any questions on this topic or are considering a change of Accountants, please give us a call as we would love to talk to you.

2 views

Recent Posts

See All

Company car mileage rates update

The company car benefit tax charge does not cover fuel provided for a company vehicle. This means that where an employer pays for all fuel (business and private), a statutory fuel scale benefit charge

Howards Accountants is a trading name of Howards Business Services Ltd. Howards Business Services Ltd is registered in England and Wales under Company number 10849750 and the registered office is at Suite 17, Camborne Business Centre, Weeth Lane, Camborne, Cornwall, England, TR14 7DB.

  • Facebook Clean
  • Twitter Clean

© 2019 Howards Business Services Ltd

Alex Howard is licensed and regulated by AAT under licence number 1002975.