During the pandemic, HM Revenue & Customs relaxed the rules on being able to claim an allowance if you chose to work or if you had to self-isolate. In the past you were able to claim for the specific time that you were required to work from home but for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 tax years, HM Revenue & Customs have allowed anyone who has worked from home, even it is for a single day in the tax year, to make a claim for the full tax year. If you do not keep evidence of the extra costs of working from home, HM Revenue & Customs will allow someone to claim a flat rate of £6 per week. This means that you can claim a deduction of £312 for the two tax years which would result in a tax repayment of £62.40 for a basic rate taxpayer and £124.80 for a higher rate taxpayer.
Tightening the criteria
The bad news is that for 2022-23, HM Revenue & Customs have tightened this up so you can now only claim if you are again required to work from home. To be eligible to make the claim, one of the following must apply:
- there must be no appropriate facilities available for the individual to perform their job on their employer’s premises;
- the nature of the job requires them to live so far from their employer’s premises that it is unreasonable for them to travel to those premises on a daily basis; or
- the individual is required, under government restrictions, to work from home.
Where an employer now allows staff to work flexibly as it suits each individual, the home office relief is no longer available.
Claiming for previous years
If you have not claimed for the earlier years, you can still do so by reflecting the claim on a self assessment tax return or using the microservice portal and following the links.
You will need a Government Gateway ID to proceed with your application – if you don’t have one, you can create one during the process and will need your national insurance number and a recent payslip or P60 or a valid UK passport.
If you have been working since the start of the first lockdown (23 March 2020), put that date in, and you will get a rebate for two whole tax years (6 April 2020 to 5 April 2021 and 6 April 2021 to 5 April 2022) and the two weeks extra.
If you have already claimed for 2020/21 tax year, you will not automatically receive a refund for the 2021/22 tax year.