Home working tax relief warning

Employees who have been claiming home office tax relief during the pandemic should review their tax codes to check whether HMRC has included the relief in their notice of coding.

During the pandemic HMRC allowed anyone working at home due to the pandemic lockdowns to apply for the tax relief for the whole year regardless of how many days they worked at home, but this relaxed interpretation of the rules is only in place until the end of the tax year, warned experts at tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg.

Robert Salter, a client tax director at Blick Rothenberg, said: “Employees should be reviewing their PAYE tax codes to clarify whether HMRC have included the home office relief within the notice of coding.

“If this is the case, unless they are still eligible for the relief in 2022-23 – they should contact HMRC to get the notice of coding corrected. Otherwise, they will have additional tax to pay at the end of the tax year.”

The government relaxed the rules regarding home office working and the associated eligibility for claiming home office relief for the 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 UK tax years. In effect, due to COVID, people can claim the £6 per week tax relief in full for each of these tax years, where they simply were required to work from home for a limited period in each of these tax years.

Mr Salter added: “For example, if your employer required you to work from home during specific lockdowns for a few weeks, you were entitled to claim tax relief of £312 for the year (52 weeks x £6 per week), unless your employer covered your home office costs.

“However, this was a temporary relaxation of the rules on the part of HMRC. As such, the home office relief is only available from 6 April 2022 onwards, if your employer specifically requires you to work from a home office, eg, to stop the spread of Covid or because your job has been ‘relocated’ and now is contractually regarded 100 per cent as a home office role.”

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